UK's poor sportsmanship
As a diehard University of Kentucky fan, I am more than disappointed with the total lack of class displayed by our basketball team.
At the start of the game, some Wisconsin players offered to shake hands in a display of sportsmanship. UK players refused. This was a classless act — totally devoid of sportsmanship.
Then some of our players again refused to shake hands with the Wisconsin players and coaches at the end of the game. In 40 years of watching college ball, I cannot remember one time when a team refused to shake hands with the opposing team and coaching staff.
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This atrocious lack of sportsmanship is an embarrassment to the university. Furthermore, it displays a lack of leadership in both the players and the coach. Perhaps the team should be compelled to take a class in ethics or at least "Sportsmanship 101".
Maybe Coach John Calipari should take some lessons.
Reflects badly on state
As a three-time University of Kentucky alum, I was disappointed by the loss to Wisconsin. But I am absolutely embarrassed by the poor sportsmanship displayed by a few of the players and by far too many fans after the game.
I left Kentucky over 25 years ago, and it's hard to be a representative for the state when too many of the folks back home behave like knuckle-dragging morons. It was nice to see the Wisconsin fans celebrating their win without burning stuff. It would be great for Wildcat fans to learn from that example.
Accept loss with class
I understand the University of Kentucky's loss to Wisconsin in the Final Four was a heartbreaker for all the Wildcat fans. Wisconsin's defeat by UK during last year's Final Four was hard to swallow by all Badger fans (myself included, having attended UW-Madison).
However, the reaction to the defeat — Willie Cauley-Stein's and the Harrison twins' refusal to shake hands with Wisconsin players, Andrew Harrison's postgame slur toward Frank Kaminsky, and the student fans' unruly behavior on State Street — are all examples of completely unacceptable behavior.
My father coached high school basketball, and the first fundamental he taught me is to always show good sportsmanship — no exceptions. True, it was honorable for Andrew Harrison to apologize for his comment, but do UK fans want the nation to identify Kentucky basketball with such poor and immature behavior? There is no doubt that UK has an impressive history of being champions in college basketball. But being a champion also means accepting a loss with class.
Double standard on slur
If anyone wants to know why racial tension exists in America, look no further than the incident at the press conference following Wisconsin's upset of Kentucky in the Final Four.
An athlete called another athlete what is always described as the "worst slur" a person can use against another. This slur has always ended up with cries for punishment for the offender, and often the offender is shunned for this offense. We see endless coverage and civil rights leaders step up and lead the charge for equality.
In this case, however, there is no such coverage or outcry. That is because, once again, an African-American gets a free pass when using the n-word against a white person. It's the double standard that drives racial tension in America today.
Good for NBA
Great year for the University of Kentucky, no doubt about that. So for the NBA and the players' real quest of the future dollars, platooning works. For a UK championship — almost? But then I only saw a couple of games, since I don't have pay TV. So the draft approaches soon. And next year again we can platoon 15 players.
Floyd C. Shipley
Sadder than a loss
I am very sad, not so much that the University of Kentucky lost to Wisconsin, but that UK students and fans in Lexington lit up the city after the loss by burning couches, tires and other items.
And many of the UK basketball players walked off the court immediately following the game without shaking hands with the Wisconsin players. Whatever happened to good sportsmanlike conduct?
As if that weren't bad enough, Andrew Harrison, our star point guard said over an open mic, "(Bleep) that (n-word)" when another player was asked about Wisconsin player Frank Kaminsky.
Harrison apologized after the media picked it up. Coach John Calipari, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame, was too slow to comment.
He should have said loud and clear that these actions were totally unacceptable.
Classy team and coach
Congratulations and thanks to Coach John Calipari and his Cats. This team took on 39 teams, faced their "super bowl" efforts, and came out on top 38 times.
Is it sad that they fell short on the 39th time? Sure. But this was perhaps the truest example of a team that I have seen in my life. All for one, among a collection of superstars, with no egos.
On top of that, they showed nothing but class on and off the court. In my mind they will go down as one of the greats in this great program's history. So, to point a finger at one person, even the coach, is not appropriate.
We should tip our hats to the Badgers and celebrate and thank this team. Calipari has taken our Cats to four Final Fours in five years. Do you know who else has done that? John Wooden and Duke's Coach K.
In addition, he not only recruits tremendously talented young men, but also men of character. So, I am behind the coach all the way.
Yes, unfortunately the basketball team lost in the Final Four, but that has not and will never give thugs, criminals and evil individuals any right to riot, destroy property and threaten police and fire personnel.
Who cares if they were angry? Make them pay for all damages, pay for all police and other personnel trying to keep the peace, and pay for any and all court costs. They also should be forced to go to each person living in the neighborhoods and apologize for their evil, illegal conduct.
If they are students, they should not be. These are not the future leaders in anything worthwhile, so let's not be so PC to treat them as such.
James E. Seymour
Rethink UK recruiting
I grew up in Kentucky supporting University of Kentucky teams with players like Cliff Hagan, Frank Ramsey, Cotton Nash and Dan Issel. In recent years, UK fans seem to enjoy supporting "one and done" players and want to brag about their team.
Wisconsin used many homegrown players to defeat a very successful group of players who might care more about their pro careers.
Perhaps it is a fact of college basketball now. We do not have to like it. Wisconsin has shown another successful alternative to winning games and winning fans. Why not examine the game plan in Lexington?
Lake Park, Ga.