UK Athletics causes national embarrassment



By M. Nolan Gray

As UK Athletics initiates yet another round of embarrassments for UK, we as students, faculty and staff come right back to the same old questions regarding the priorities of the university and the relationship between its various departments.

Call me an idealist, but I’m of the crazy notion that UK is a university, a place of higher learning first, a hospital second and sports empire third. In reality, UK often acts as a sports program that educates a few students by accident.

The fact that in years of financial strain UK awarded its athletics director with a ridiculous bonus while thousands of its excellent employees went without a single, miniscule raise is shameful.

The fact that UK gave up a prime piece of campus real estate, not for much-needed dorms, classrooms or parking, but rather for a silly hangout for athletes is shameful.

The fact that the administrators of this institution would allow UK athletics to give a laughably small percentage of its profits back to the school, instead continue showering profits down on athletics staff and athletes, is shameful.

The fact that a counsel general associate of the university gets in a bad mood and insults student journalists on the student newspaper website is shameful.

The fact that UK Athletics wants compliance and control so much that it will blacklist student journalists is shameful.

While wasting our funds on such shameful operations, we continue to lose opportunities to bring the best faculty and employees to the university, frequently failing to give pay increases that would help keep the best individuals at our university and continuing to put financial strain on our students through increased tuition. The administration should seriously reevaluate its priorities. Otherwise, we’re just on track to become a Top 20 Joke.