Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 4, 2012

Kentucky fires Joker Phillips

LEXINGTON — First, I would like to thank the fans that have supported this football team at Commonwealth Stadium and on the road this year. It has been a difficult season thus far, losses none of us wished to experience and injuries that have taken their toll on an already young squad.

We are a proud member of the Southeastern Conference. With that membership comes some of the greatest challenges in all of college sports. You are challenged every day with great programs in all sports; the fans, coaches and athletes are what make this league special. To compete in this conference you must have a solid foundation on which you operate. For the last decade, our foundation has been built and operated on the principles of our department. We have tried to put in place programs, coaches and attitudes that reflect integrity, education, discipline, stewardship and competitiveness in which all Kentuckians, the entire university and Wildcat fans can find pride.

We have made progress in many areas, but the journey is never an easy one, nor a straight one to the destination we all desire. There is a line in our fight song which we use in our hallways and in our communication: "`til the battle is won." It is easy to write it down; it is harder to live it, especially when you are not seeing the results you very much would like to enjoy. College athletics is now being referred to as the business of college sports. One would be hard-pressed to argue. At its core we make decisions every day based upon the impact it will have on our 500-plus student-athletes, their education and experiences. In the last decade or so it seems the clock on those decisions, most notably the timetable to get any program going has continued to speed up, especially in college football and basketball. The cycle moves at a rapid pace with high expectations.

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