By Ryan Hiles–
I hate the University of Kentucky. I hate how they pretend like football doesn’t exist. I hate the way they dismiss any criticism with “just wait until next year.” I hate the way they trot out Ashley Judd like she’s an American cinema icon – “Double Jeopardy” was trash, and she was in “A Time To Kill” for like five minutes and then bailed before anything got good. I hate that among the first tweets I saw following our 2013 NCAA National Title were UK fans chiming in with the always hilarious “Louisville still doesn’t exist” line. Oh, and I hate John Calipari.
As cathartic as it was to type that paragraph with unrelenting fury, there’s one thing that we should all notice from the aforementioned list of hate. All of the things I hate about UK have to do with athletics, and I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one. The root of most of our hate for our intrastate rivals is our relationship with them turns necessarily adversarial when we enter the realm of athletics. Come game day, life long friends and even family members turn bitter foes.
This isn’t a call to end that. I love having this reviled in-state rival. But maybe it’s time to bury the hatchet, because right now we have a foe in common in the Governor’s office.
In his budget proposal, newly-elected Governor Matt Bevin announced plans for a sweeping nine percent slash to the budget of every public university. This is on top of already crippling cuts public universities have faced over the last eight years, raising the financial undertaking of attending college. For the large part, Bevin has been unspecific about where and what he intends to cut. But perhaps we should thank Bevin, because he’s just done what no other public official has been able to do. He just gave UK and U of L fans a common enemy.
If there was ever a time to put our petty differences aside, this is it. Even our respective presidents are on the same page here. UK president Eli Capilouto has already gone on record calling the proposed cuts “draconian,” and telling a house budget committee, “Make no mistake about it. Every student, every employee, faculty, staff, everybody, will feel it.” We all have our issues with President James Ramsey, but he also sees these cuts as a threat to higher education in the state. Ramsey told the committee, “These cuts are serious. These are cuts on top of cuts.”
I know it makes you feel dirty all over, but just this once, let’s take this common because we’ve found with our mortal enemies and present a united front against this plague has been placed upon both of our houses. And as an olive branch, allow me end this with a #BBN. (Ugh, just typing that makes me feel like I need a shower.)