Kernel, UK compromise

Editorial by Kernel staff. E-mail opinions@kykernel.com.

In September, UK halted the distribution of the Kentucky Kernel in the parking lots surrounding Commonwealth Stadium.

UK Executive Director of Publications and Marketing Jay Blanton, said the university took action to protect its $80 million contract with IMG, according to an Oct. 15 Kernel article.

On Saturday, UK reached out to the Kernel staff to work on a compromise — one that would allow the Kernel to operate out of three designated areas of the Commonwealth parking lot, as long as staff didn’t wander through the lots.

The Kernel plans to abide by the guidelines of the compromise for now, but a bigger concern is still at hand.

After reviewing the guidelines of the contract and speaking with UK, the question remains whether or not UK’s contract with IMG is constitutional.

While the Kernel appreciates the university’s effort to cooperate, the university’s intent regarding the clause of the contract is still in question.

The Kentucky Kernel is a student-run newspaper, and the university’s primary service is to its students. Stifling constitutional amendments to help the athletics program capitalize off of its $80 million contract is the kind of action that keeps UK from making strides toward being a benchmark university.

If the athletics contracts are here to represent UK Athletics, what needs to be considered is the fact that these athletes are students too, and students involved in any group deserve the same rights and recognitions from the university.

The contract with IMG essentially claims that for the right price, UK is willing to restructure its priorities if profit is involved.

UK is a sports school, and while there is reason to continue ensuring that these athletics programs excel, the university is taking giant strides in the wrong direction by drafting contracts that push other students’ rights to the background for the sake of money.

The compromise is a step in the right direction, especially if it means the university will be more aware of the consequences of its big-profit contracts and its effect on students and the city of Lexington.

But the Kernel will continue to stand its ground for the sake of the First Amendment and the sake of its most valuable asset — the readers.