Top-10 Kentucky Detractors

  1. John Feinstein
  2. Sports Illustrated
  3. Jock Sutherland
  4. Bobby Knight
  5. Digger Phelps
  6. Billy Packer
  7. Denny Crum
  8. Bob Ryan
  9. Bob Gibbons
  10. Kevin O'Neill

This page is a gallery of major detractors of Kentucky Basketball over the years. It's purpose is to provide a historical perspective and information concerning events, people and places in this regard. To be sure, Kentucky has had its share of problems over the years and fully deserves a number of the criticisms such as the infractions cited in the 1985 Lexington Herald Leader articles and the infractions leading to probation in the late eighties. Many of these "detractors" have criticized UK for these and other perceived problems but to their credit most of them have also commended UK at times when they felt it was deserved. Especially recently, guys like Bobby Knight, Denny Crum, Jock Sutherland and Dale Brown, who may have gone overboard from a Kentucky fans perspective in the past, have been very complimentary of the program of late. Even Sports Illustrated was fairly positive about UK after the Cats won the National Championship in 1995-96. The notable exception is John Feinstein. He remains a stubborn critic of Kentucky, even taking what can only be a positive aspect about the program and turning it into a negative.


Disclaimer: The intention of this page is simply as a source of information and/or amusement. It's intention is not to personally attack the members included on this list, only to point out occasions in the past where some UK fans felt these people have used their positions as public figures to criticize UK. Admittedly an odd theme for a web page but based on responses from basketball fans of all loyalties, it's proven to be a fertile place for reliving and analyzing some important moments in time concerning Kentucky and college basketball in general. The page is written from the perspective of a UK fan but that in no way implies that this perspective is the only one or even correct.

That also doesn't mean to imply that these "detractors" criticized UK unfairly on all occasions or that UK didn't deserve the criticism. (In fact, some parts of the page consist of information that isn't a "criticism" at all, including interesting or background information, humorous moments and even evidence against Kentucky to support their claims.) It also doesn't mean to imply that these people are still critical of UK. Many of these beliefs, by myself or other UK fans, are highly subjective and most likely wouldn't be considered a slight by anyone else besides a UK fan. It is ultimately up to the reader to decide what is valid and what is not. While this page is not intended to slam the members of the top-10 list, in my estimation, it will have done some good if it alerts them to their perceived tendencies to overtly criticize one particular institution over another. If that leads to more balanced reporting, more professional journalism, or better understanding, I'll happily count that as a positive result.

Although the page is written from the perspective of a Kentucky fan, it is hoped that all fans will read it in the sentiment it was intended and be able enjoy it or learn from it in some way. If you disagree with any part of it, if you find that some part of it is inaccurate or if you would like to add an anecdote, quote or have suggestion, please mail me. I trust you'll find that I have been very accommodating to the views of those who have written, both pro and con. Unfortunately, John Feinstein has shown to be incapable of appreciating the intent of this page and chose to pen a lame and apparently pointless editorial against this page without attempting to contact or correct me. I felt it was important for me to respond which is included on a separate page.

*John Feinstein

*Sports Illustrated

*Jock Sutherland

*Bobby Knight

*Digger Phelps

*Billy Packer

*Denny Crum

*Bob Ryan and the East Coast Media

*Bob Gibbons

*Kevin O'Neill

Please send all additions/corrections to

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Compiled by and unattributed sections written by Jon Scott