By LARRY VAUGHT
Somehow I think former WLEX-TV sports director Alan Cutler would have been extra proud of LEX’s Charlie Walter for a question he asked Kentucky coach Mark Stoops during his last Zoom conference with media members.
Walter asked about the UK players’ diets while they were no longer on campus and if that worried Stoops. Anyone who knows Cutler knows he always worried about his diet — and still does.
“It is very important, but it really comes down to something we talk a lot about, and that is discipline. It really is because we have worked extremely hard on developing leadership – years and years and years,” Stoops answered.
“This is a great example for our players to take advantage to that and adhere to the message that we have been giving them for a long time. It takes great discipline, accountability and dependability to get up and do what you have to do when nobody is watching.
“You are talking about eating and that is one part of it and it is a major part. It is very important for them and important that they consult with our dieticians and our strength and conditioning staff. I just got off a staff meeting and that was one of the things that I started with was, ‘Where are we at and how do you feel our players are doing?’ The guys that need to watch their weight and cut down, where are they at?”
Stoops said while strength and conditioning coaches give him updates they still have to rely on what players are telling them.
“Then the guys that need to bulk up, and to make sure they are eating and are they getting enough groceries? Do they have the resources to be successful and keep things up? That is one part of it, but the big thing is do they have the discipline to get up every day and take care of their academics, go do their workout any way they can or are they submitting and giving in and caving to what is going on around them?” Stoops said.
“The people that do that are not going to be very successful. The people that get up and have a structure and schedule to them and are being accountable to their teammates and to their organization, then they will be successful. When we come back from this, the teams that do well are going to be the teams that are doing a great job with the things that we are talking about right now because it is hard to monitor them.
“You have to trust that they are doing the right thing. I believe our players are, but we will see when we get back at it.”