Rubber stamps everywhere lost one of their own Wednesday when the University of Kentucky's Athletics Association Board of Directors voted to disband.
The board, established in 1945, went out without even a whimper. The resolution for disbanding the board passed unanimously and without discussion. A moment later, UK President Eli Capilouto called for a motion to adjourn the 18-minute meeting.
Once the Athletics Association Board of Directors officially dissolves on June 30, the duty of overseeing UK athletics will pass to a new panel made up of five members of the school's Board of Trustees and as many as three non-voting "community advisory" people.
The new structure, which mirrors how UK administers its hospital, made a separate athletics association "redundant," Capilouto said.
Board member — and noted television broadcaster — Tom Hammond echoed the sentiment. "I just think it's logical that the Board of Trustees should oversee athletics," he said. "... Athletics should not be separated from the university."
As for UK fans, "They shouldn't notice any big difference in what we do," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. "I don't think there will be a whole lot of change in the way we'll do our business."
Board members rarely if ever challenged the actions of UK athletic administrators or coaches in recent decades. But Barnhart suggested that athletic board members questioned actions behind closed doors.
"One beautiful thing about athletics is people lock arms in making decisions," he said. "Whether you agree or disagree, you lock arms and, in front of everybody, you're going to be together ... We will always be together."
Barnhart objected to the notion that a member of the trustees in an oversight position might be more willing to dissent.
"I'm not worried about my relationship with trustees," Barnhart said. "There are good people at the trustee level. There are great people on the athletic board level. The ultimate deal is they care about the university."
What UK called the new "Athletics Committee" will be charged with providing counsel to Capilouto, and reviewing the department's annual budget, major expenditures and acquisitions and construction of facilities that cost more than $400,000.
Barnhart noted that former UK president Lee T. Todd Jr. had called for the athletics department to function with the overall university structure. "That's what we've done for 10 years," he said. "So that's not going to change."
Dissolving the Athletics Association Board of Directors "just cleans up a lot of the paper trail that's necessary in today's world," he said.