Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No More Favoring Curry at Kentucky

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

No More Favoring Curry at Kentucky

Article excerpt

Just three weeks ago, University of Kentucky athletic director C.M. Newton said that under no circumstance would besieged football coach Bill Curry be fired during the season. He called it "unthinkable" to change coaches in the middle of the season.

"We're not a (National Football League) franchise," Newton said at the time. "I am not the general manager of a pro football team. I'm athletic director for a university football program."

Yes - and the two are becoming less distinguishable all the time. Earlier this week, Newton announced Curry was fired. He could no longer favor Curry after a 41-14 loss to Louisiana State left him 1-6 this season and 22-47 in six-plus seasons. Newton, though regrettably having to contradict himself, probably had little choice. Even as he reflexively defended Curry, Newton ominously had added, "I understand - everybody understands - that this is a make-good year." And the Wildcats were only making bad as they clinched their sixth successive non-winning season under Curry0a. Kentucky was 1-10 two seasons ago, and few could point to any tangible progress in the program - and there was abundant evidence of dissension. After the loss to Cincinnati, for instance, even Paul Hornung - a teammate of Curry's with the Green Bay Packers and formerly an ardent supporter - zapped Curry on his nationally syndicated TV show: "If I see (trumpeted quarterback recruit) Tim Couch run the option one more time," Hornung said, "I'm going to throw up." News of his demise hardly startled Curry, who has a career record of 80-104-4 including stints at Alabama and Georgia Tech. "It's embarrassing, and I'm sorry I didn't do a better job . . . " said Curry, who has two years remaining on a contract reportedly worth $300,000 a year. "This is not one of those situations where an injustice was done." No. The true injustice, or curiosity, anyway, may yet loom. Scuttlebutt has it that the chief candidate to replace Curry is Howard Schnellenberger, who resigned under pressure from Oklahoma in 1995 after one 5-5-1 season that included the coach ranting about "the Sooner nation" and insisting on long-outmoded military tactics. …

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