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Mitch Barnhart says return to sports activity still “pretty fluid” situation

Mitch Barnhart (Vicky Graff Photo)

By KEITH TAYLOR, Kentucky Today

Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart Barnhart said approximately 100 to 120 student-athletes have made their way back to campus and the school has focused on a return to activity during the past few weeks.

“We continue to adjust our protocol as we watch the situations,” Barnhart said. “It’s pretty fluid.”

Barnhart was glad to hear Gov. Andy Beshear give the approval for fans in the stands for the Kentucky Derby and said that’s a positive sign for college and other athletic programs in the state.

“That’s encouraging to me that we will have opportunities to bring our people back together,” he said. “But that’s one component in one piece of return to play and I said it publicly before there’s a difference between returned activity and return to play. We’re working our way through all those details.

“I think that that there’s going to be clearly conversations as it relates to activities in our state. There’s clearly conversations that will take place as it relates to activities in our league and  we’ve got to combine all these pieces of information and pull them together in a spot where it’s best for the University of Kentucky and our fan base and we’re not there yet.”

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Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at or twitter @keithtaylor21


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  1. I have my doubts that we will ever see a normal 2020 college football season. To many politicians are making choices now that are not conducive to a sport like college football taking front and center. Look south to Tennessee and the goings on there for HS football in that state this summer. To much is being made about this Covid 19 now, and has been from the start IMO. This will shut college football down in many states. That would be a tragedy for UK with the kind of team they could become in 2020.

  2. Pup, Covid 19 is for real. It has mutated and now is 10 times more contagious. Only 10% of the people in the US have been exposed to it and most of them were exposed to the non-mutated strain. If we continue to try to get back to life before Covid, this will drag out another 2+ years and just about everyone will have had a taste of it. The track that we are on will result in over 300,000+ deaths by the time it is finally contained. That’s almost 1% of our population. Gather 100 people together and say if only 1 is willing to die today, the other 99 can go about life as normal…until the next day and then you have to repeat that focus group again each day until the virus is contained. I am not willing to be that 1 on any day. How about you?

    1. Oh it’s real alright, but deaths are in decline 33. People will die from the regular flu this coming flu season also, and it happens every year. I am in the category of people most likely to get Covid19 age wise. That said, I take precautions to protect my self, as others should as well. I stay home a lot, check my temp often, and wash my hands often, and just pray that God will protect me from this plague. Much of what is being reported is real cases, yes, because there is more testing being done now. However, this virus is not killing young people, maybe a case or two here and there. Tragic, indeed, but you can’t shut down the whole country over a virus, or there goes the U S economy, right? I say that leads to other serious complications like suicides etc. over failing businesses, and economic calamity for many who can’t even pay their rent.

      In my opinion this is a political game now designed to slow down the Trump economy, nothing more. The left, nor the CDC, don’t seem to be concerned about all these violent protests going on around the nation now do they? All these people shoulder to shoulder, tearing up things, and committing anarchy and lawlessness in front of City Halls. How much spread of Covid19 virus has this illegal conduct caused? Strange how we never hear nary a word about that. Don’t that bother you? I say open up as much as we can if we are going to allow violent protests, and let people live their lives, taking precautions yes, but make strong effort to try to keep the economy moving ahead in the process. That too saves lives.

      As for sports, I say let em play, but if they don’t, I want lose a minute of sleep. I am far more worried about the direction of the United States of America right now than sports. It is far more serious for most Americans who respect the rule of law, and the future of a nation that was founded on law and order, and the Constitution.

  3. There will be a tidal wave of new cases around the middle of the month and continuing on into August. If this doesn’t get our attention to take this virus seriously, then maybe the death toll surpassing 200,000 will. We will be dealing with this virus for the next 3 years.
    As for the direction of our country, we will soon be replacing one buffoon with another one. The Black Lives Matters movement shows that racism is indeed rampant in the black community. This isn’t so much a matter of race as it is of the Haves and Have Nots, race is the smoke screen to hide the real intent of the movement. It has nothing to do with equality, it has everything to do with lets make white people our bitcches and see how they like it. This is doomed to fail, but it will bring on a new wave of Democrats pandering to the black community in exchange for votes. This will lead to more affirmative action programs that focus on skin color versus right and wrong. Between this and the virus, we will have a hot mess to address in 2024. The next 4 years will indeed be painful and destructive, but common sense will eventually prevail as we unite in 2024 for the second wave of America First and Lets Make America Great again.

    1. 33, if the democrat candidate wins this election in November, you will not recognize this nation in 2024. Look at democrat controlled cities now, like NYC. That is all one needs to look at.

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