Kentucky football program members fighting serious illness


New Football headshots Thursday, May 30, 2013. Photo by Britney McIntosh

Roman West

Two of Kentucky’s stars, one player and one coach, are being treated for serious illnesses this offseason.

Josh Paschal, sophomore defensive end, was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in early August, and head coach Mark Stoops said in his weekly press conference that he is out indefinitely until otherwise noted.

He has a meeting this week with his treatment team. Through all this, he still been with the team a bunch.

“He’s in the training room getting his treatment,” Stoops said. “He’s been dealing with his surgeries. The most recent was a skin graft.”

Stoops said once this most recent surgery heals, Paschal will be able to lift weights again, which he is really looking forward to.

Kentucky’s offensive line coach John Schlarman is also battling a very serious undisclosed illness, and Stoops stated he has been getting treatments of chemotherapy.

“He hasn’t missed a day of work,” Stoops said of Schlarman’s attitude during this illness.

Stoops said that Schlarman has gone through two rounds of chemotherapy already.

The team has really rallied around him, getting inspiration from their coach who has been going through hours of chemo and then coming in to practice and still coaching the same way he did before.

The staff has been in all-hands-on-deck mode to help Schlarman with his coaching responsibilities, knowing that at any moment they might need to step in for him.

Eddie Gran, the offensive coordinator and running backs coach, has been the biggest help for Schlarman. Stoops said he’s in on every single protection and every bit of the run game.

Stoops ended his press conference by saying that he’s trying to be steady through all of these illnesses to people he’s so close to, and he’s excited to start the season, but he’s still saying prayers for his guys.