UK, U of L at opposite ends on date of annual rivalry football game

It wouldn’t be the football offseason without a little grumbling between UK and Louisville regarding their annual pigskin game.

U of L released its 2008 schedule Monday, with permanent dates on all the games but one — the UK game. The schedule lists the annual date of the Cats as “TBA,” highlighting yet another year of dispute over which day to play the Governor’s Cup.

U of L officials said Monday that ESPN has requested the game be played on Monday night as a part of its Labor Day college football coverage. That could set up UK with a prime opportunity to gain some national TV exposure.

However, UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said Monday that the Cats will not agree with the Monday night proposal, saying it puts them at a disadvantage for their game with Norfolk State the following Saturday, according to reports from the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Courier Journal in Louisville.

Barnhart could not be reached for comment yesterday. Scott Stricklin, assistant athletics director, said Barnhart would not comment on the matter anymore until UK officially releases its 2008 schedule. Stricklin said UK is still finalizing several other games and dates for the upcoming season.

The controversy over the annual Governor’s Cup is nothing new. The two schools have been going back and forth over the date of the game for several years.

U of L wants the game to take place the first weekend of the season because of television exposure. UK would rather the game be played later in the season. Last year the schools agreed that the home team would choose the date of the game, which will be in Louisville next season. But again it seems like that will be up for debate.

UK won last year’s game in Lexington, downing the Cardinals 40-34 on Sept. 15, which was the third week of the season. That game was televised on ESPN Classic.