John Clay

John Clay’s notes: Administrators should give thanks for rising paychecks

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, right, greeted University of Louisville Athletics Director Tom Jurich on July 25 at the annual luncheon to promote the annual Governor’s Cup football game. This year’s game between the Cats and the Cards is Saturday.
University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart, right, greeted University of Louisville Athletics Director Tom Jurich on July 25 at the annual luncheon to promote the annual Governor’s Cup football game. This year’s game between the Cats and the Cards is Saturday. Lexington Herald-Leader

Random notes:

▪ Here’s something to chew on this Turkey Day: The Washington Post published an investigative report this week that among “Power Five” conference schools, the median figure for athletic department earnings is $93.1 million. Yet 28 of the 52 state schools in those conferences are running a deficit.

Another finding in the report: Over the past decade, pay for administrators has risen by $300 million.

It should be noted that, according to the Post’s numbers, UK was in the black for fiscal 2014. Among public SEC schools, only Auburn, South Carolina and Ole Miss were found to be in the red.

All 10 ACC public schools were found to be running a deficit, including Louisville, which reported earnings of $84.7 million for 2014.

▪ There were five unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties in last year’s Kentucky-Louisville football game. Let’s hope there are five fewer Saturday.

▪ In its past four basketball games, Kentucky has made 13 of 58 three-pointers for 22.4 percent. The Cats are shooting 26 percent from three so far this young season. The last Kentucky team to shoot less than 30 percent from three-point range was Tubby Smith’s 1999-2000 team, which shot 29.2 percent.

▪ Never mind Louisville basketball’s ridiculously easy non-conference schedule to date — stats man Ken Pomeroy rates U of L’s strength of schedule at No. 329 out of 351 — the real upset will come if Rick Pitino shows up for a post-game press conference.

▪ Dean Hood did a credible job in his eight seasons as the head football coach at Eastern Kentucky, going 54-37 overall, but you can understand why new athletic director Steve Lochmueller wanted to make a change. Under the legendary Roy Kidd, EKU was a national force in Division I-AA, which is now called FCS. Hood was 0-3 in playoff games.

▪ You do have to wonder what would have happened if EKU had held on to its 27-13 fourth-quarter lead over UK on Oct. 3. Instead, the Colonels lost in overtime.

▪ As for LSU, yes, Les Miles won a 2007 national title in Baton Rouge and guided the Tigers to the 2012 BCS title game. Yes, Miles is 110-32 at LSU. However, he is 15-8 overall and 8-7 in the SEC over his past two years. His offense has been consistently dreadful. And his recruiting classes have been in the Rivals Top 10 each of the past three years, including No. 2 in 2014 behind Alabama.

▪ How about Chip Kelly at LSU? That would spice up the rivalry with Alabama.

▪ Given Kentucky’s troubles handling running quarterbacks, you might think Lamar Jackson would be Louisville’s starter Saturday. On the other hand, Kyle Bolin had a great game against the Cats last season. And Bobby Petrino loves to surprise.

▪ Why don’t the Browns just cut Johnny Manziel and be done with the whole mess?

The last Kentucky team to shoot less than 30 percent from three-point range for the season was Tubby Smith’s 1999-2000 team, which shot 29.2 percent.

▪ Yes, North Carolina, formerly the nation’s No. 1-ranked team, is struggling. The Heels are without point guard Marcus Paige, however. He should return soon.

▪ I know the youngsters wanted Josh Hutcherson of the Hunger Games, who was sitting in the front row, but it was good to see John Pelphrey make the Y on Tuesday night at Rupp Arena.

▪ Just when you think you have to worry about the players on Twitter, the mother of Indiana’s Troy Williams posts on Twitter that it’s time to get her son the “(expletive) out of IU” after Williams was benched by head coach Tom Crean. The tweet was later deleted. Of course.

▪ You can make the case that this year’s Governor’s Cup is not exactly a battle of the titans. Between U of L and UK, Louisville is the only team to have beaten an FBS team with a winning record. Louisville beat N.C. State, now 7-4.

▪ On this Thanksgiving Day, we locals should give thanks for what has been a pretty amazing sports year (so far), with Kentucky basketball going 38-1, American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown and then the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland.

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