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Mark Stoops showing Sihiem King the respect he deserves

Sihiem King (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

Mark Stoops continues to do a lot of things that impress me that has nothing to do with Kentucky’s 5-0 record.

Just consider:

— He went to see Josh Paschal and E.J. Price get baptized this summer only a few hours after returning home from chaperoning his son’s middle school trip to Washington, D.C. — and riding a bus all night to get back to Lexington.

— He showed incredible patience with Jordan Jones last year when he lost control on the field. Now Jones is playing perhaps the best he has at UK.

— He’s been incredibly supportive of assistant coach John Schlarman and Paschal in their fight against cancer.

Now he’s shown total respect for senior Sihiem King this year.

King has had some key moments at UK but is behind Benny Snell and A.J. Rose this year. Freshman Chris Rodriguez has impressed the coaching staff.

Rather than play just a few times and end his college career, King decided he wanted to redshirt, transfer after the season and save one year of eligibility at another school. Stoops went all in with him.

“He’s going to redshirt, so and that makes sense. I’m in full support of that, that rule, to me, that’s zero controversy at all. I’m a hundred percent in support of that,” Stoops said.

“I can’t apologize for the way Benny (Snell) and A.J. are running and it’s pretty dang hard to take them off the field. So I think that’s a good situation for him.”

King can still practice but don’t look for him to show up in a game no matter what happens to the running backs in front of him.

“We’ll go to other options before we go to that,” Stoops said.

Good for Stoops. It’s nice to see a coach who understands a player should have the right to do what is best for him and respect that decision. There’s not enough of that in big-time college athletics and even in the midst of a special season it’s nice to know Stoops still knows how to keep his priorities in order.

 

3 comments

  1. I agree, Larry.

  2. I agree Too! Why could he not redshirt and play at Kentucky next year? I agree to let the player do what he wants to do. I am proud to have Stoops as our coach.

    1. He is not seeing playing time. Don’t think that will change next year with Rose and maybe even Snell (I hope) returning, plus two good backs like Rodriguez and Smoke coming up.

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