Hosting a statewide radio show on Thursday morning, Kentucky’s Mark Stoops called the arrest of former safety Marcus Walker on multiple drug charges “hurtful.
“It hurts our program and I’m disappointed that it happened,” the head coach said. “And I’m going to work as I’ve always worked to put our players in position to be successful.”
Walker was dismissed from the team last month after police found more than $95,000 in cash and 52 grams of cocaine inside the safety’s apartment near campus.
The 21-year-old safety from Florida was arrested May 24 and dismissed from the team five days after. He has pleaded not guilty to charges of trafficking marijuana and cocaine.
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While hosting the first hour of Kentucky Sports Radio, Stoops called the entire situation disappointing.
“I have 105 guys on the team and so many guys are doing so many good things,” Stoops said. “It makes me so proud of the things that we’re accomplishing and the things we’re doing. These kids are like (my) children to me, so anytime somebody does something like that it’s very disappointing. It’s very disappointing to me.
“The only thing I can do is work unbelievably hard to put these kids in a position to be successful, to educate them, to help them. … You put them in the best situation you possibly can and sometimes they fail. When they fail, I’m very disappointed.”
The coach continued to discuss the positive things going on around his program before adding: “It disappoints me we didn’t get to everybody, but we’re going to continue to try.”
When asked if this type of incident — the second drug arrest of a player in Stoops’ six-year tenure — hurts Kentucky in recruiting, Stoops hedged.
“We don’t live in a glass house here. We don’t throw stones,” he said. “The only thing we worry about in recruiting is ourselves and the position we put kids in to be successful and we’re very proud of that. Every school would have to look at themselves and if they’re perfect, good for them.”