"We've always been partners with the university."
The CEO of Toyota or Lexmark talking about research and educational cooperation with the University of Kentucky?
The mayor discussing town/gown relations?
Coca-Cola on its campus vending-machine contract?
Guess again: University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart on the relationship between his department and the rest of the institution.
Barnhart uttered this odd phrase as he discussed the athletics department's largesse in upping the money it kicks in from its coffers for scholarships for the academically talented.
For the record, athletics will contribute $3 million next school year, up from $1.7 million. It only makes sense to help the university, Barnhart said, because, "we are a piece of that brand."
But don't misconstrue this benevolence as an entitlement. Barnhart was careful to point out that this is not a "recurring commitment."
Apparently, even a partnership to promote the same brand has its limits.