By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky’s Media Day started with an unexpected twist today when coach Mark Stoops announced that sophomore defensive end Josh Paschal’s skin lesions that were expected to limit him in preseason drills have turned out to be more serious than anticipated.
An emotional Stoops announced that Paschal has been diagnosed with malignant melanoma.
“Josh and his family are handling it well,” Stoops said. “They want to be open about this, so there was no speculation. They also want this to be a reminder to people to pay close attention to their skin and have those evaluated.”
“Our hearts and prayers go out to Josh and his family,” said defensive coordinator Matt House.
House said UK’s other defensive players handled the news about Paschal the way one would want and expect.
“Number one, their hearts and prayers are with Josh. He is around in the building. We are handling it as a family would,” House said.
Paschal underwent an additional procedure last week after the initial tests came back.
If that wasn’t enough, Stoops also said that offensive line coach John Schlarman — a former UK player — is also dealing with a medical issue. He continues to coach but will be undergoing more tests and will miss time as he deals with the issue.
Stoops said “we have plenty of guys” on the coaching staff who can fill in if Schlarman has to miss time. He says several coaches have offensive line backgrounds and that offensive coordinator Eddie Gran can “coach all positions” if needed.
“We will handle it just fine,” Stoops said.
Does he anticipate Schlarman missing significant time?
“I would rather not speculate on that,” Stoops said.