After being suspended for the final two games of last season, it seems Kentucky wide receiver Demarco Robinson is still not completely out of the Cats' doghouse.
"There's still some additional penalties that Demarco needs to go through," Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops said on Thursday before speaking to the Rotary Club at Fasig-Tipton in Lexington.
Robinson missed the final two games last season for an unspecified violation of team rules but was allowed to return for practices in the spring, still earning his way back on the team, Stoops said at the time.
The senior had eight catches for 115 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown reception late in the game, and earned praise from his head coach after the scrimmage.
"I'm really proud of the effort that he's made off the field," Stoops said of Robinson in April. "He's not perfect. Demarco has a lot of work to do in certain areas, but he's trying and he's battling and I've been proud that he's really improved in a lot of ways."
Last season, Robinson was the team's third-best receiver with 20 catches for 213 yards and two touchdowns. He also returned 11 punts for 114 yards.
Another question mark for the Cats this offseason is the status of safety Ashely Lowery, who played all of last season but wasn't allowed to speak with the media, with a driving-under-the-influence charge pending in his hometown in Georgia.
Lowery's case still has not been resolved.
"There's no change in that," Stoops said. "We're working through a few things. ... Ashely is in good standing right now."
Lowery had 46 tackles and an interception last season for UK.
Before attending one of many preseason speaking engagements on Thursday, Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops was asked about missing another one the day before.
UK officials announced this week that Stoops had opted out of an annual joint news conference and charity event to publicize the Governor's Cup rivalry game with Louisville.
The Cats' coach said he let organizers know early on that he wouldn't be attending because he had other things to do, but apologized for "any confusion in that area."
"We have a lot to do," he said. "We've had quite a few media obligations and different events. It was just strictly a time-management deal. I do apologize if I offended anybody that wasn't clear on I wasn't coming. I made that known some time ago.
"We've had plenty of opportunities to talk about that game. No problem talking about it, it's just that's a full day for me where I need to be in the office and get some organization going for this upcoming season."
When asked why organizers didn't make it known that Stoops wouldn't be attending, even promoting on the event website that both head coaches and the governor would be there for a day of golf, Stoops said: "I don't want to comment on any of that. I take responsibility. I can't put that on anybody else, so again I apologize for any confusion in that area."
Bring on the Sooners?
Mark Stoops' big brother had a lot to say on Wednesday when he took his turn at the ESPN "Car Wash" in Bristol, Conn.
Bob Stoops, head coach at Oklahoma, had some interesting words about Alabama, the competitive balance of the Southeastern Conference (or lack thereof) and the lack of high-level scheduling by some in the league.
Mark Stoops seemed OK with the idea of scheduling up and playing his brother's Oklahoma team, which faces SEC foe Tennessee this season.
"Bring 'em on," Stoops said laughing, presumably with his tongue planted firmly in cheek. "You can put that in print: Bring on the Sooners, because we don't play a difficult enough schedule."
■ In non-fairytale schedule discussions, Stoops was asked about various reports that Cincinnati might be trying to schedule Kentucky for future dates. The UK head coach said it was "too early to talk about any of that right now."