Mitch Barnhart defends Kentucky's checkerboard uniforms

Mrs. Tyler Thompsonover 3 years

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Kentucky’s checkerboard basketball uniforms have been a source of contention since they were introduced back in 2016. Many former players have told KSR they dislike the uniforms, but athletic director Mitch Barnhart continues to defend them. On today’s Morning Tip-Off with Michael Bennett, Shannon the Dude asked Barnhart about the checkerboard uniforms, which led to this feisty exchange.

Shannon: “A lot of people have expressed concerns not liking the checkerboard uniforms. So, are the checkerboards here to stay or are they here for another year? What’s the future?”

Barnhart: “I really find it fascinating that people get fired up about uniforms. We were just talking about this off air. It’s so interesting to me. As we talk to our players — if I asked our football team what uniforms they want to wear, they want to wear the platinum ones and the black ones, and the minute we put those on, I get 84,000 emails about, ‘Don’t wear black and platinum.’ I got one guy that writes me an email — when we go on the road, we wear white uniforms, which is by rule, we have to wear the white uniform. He says, ‘You’ve worn white. You’re already surrendering before you’ve ever taken the field.’ I said, ‘That’s great, buddy. I really appreciate you understanding the rules of college football.’ That’s the mindset of what I deal with.”

Shannon: “Is it a deal with Nike, Mitch?”

Barnhart: “Hey Shannon, are you going to talk over the top of me and keep going or do I get to answer what I want to? How about you be quiet and I’ll talk?”

Shannon: “I’m just asking you a question. All I’m asking –”

Barnhart: “If you stop long enough, I’ll answer it.”

Shannon: “Okay, go. You’ve got 30 seconds.”

Barnhart: “Oh, I’m on the clock?”

Shannon: “Well, the show’s over now.”

Barnhart: “I’m going to run out of time and can’t answer it the way I want to. I like our kids. We have a lot of our kids that like it. Frankly, we do have a deal with Nike and they came to us with some stuff from the silks of Secretariat. When we first started this, it wasn’t a checkerboard thing, it was the silks of Secretariat and that’s how we’ve honored it. A lot of our kids like it and we give each sport the opportunity to design their own uniforms, so that’s where we are. Thanks, Shannon, for the time.”

There you go. Listen to the exchange at the end of the podcast below:

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2021-09-24