University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart wrote an open letter to the fans today (per UKAthletics.com) in which he stated that head coach Joker Phillips would not be retained at the end of the 2012 season. He also said that the search for a new head coach would begin immediately and be done internally.
Barnhart's letter began with a long preamble that referenced the many strides and accomplishments that the University of Kentucky Athletics Department as a whole has made under his administration. He went on to say that he hoped to make major renovations to the stadium soon and thanked the fans for their continued support of the football program.
Near the end, Barnhart finally said that after much consideration, he has decided that it would be in the best interest of the university if a change at the football head coaching position was made.
It should be noted that this is a far cry from his comments yesterday on the Tom Leach's pregame show (per Adam Schilt of KentuckySportsRadio.com), when he said that the fans who wanted Joker Phillips gone felt that way due to a "personal agenda."
He concluded the letter by praising Joker for his work with the University of Kentucky and its surrounding community. He also ended with a pledge to the Big Blue Nation:
I understand the challenge and significance of finding a new leader for our football program. It will be done with great concern for our student-athletes, students of the University of Kentucky, the Big Blue Nation and the citizens of the Commonwealth. Kentucky Football needs to be and will be a championship contender in the SEC.
For better or for worse, it look like Mitch Barnhart's "agenda" is finally on the same page with the majority of Kentucky football fans.
For a detailed time line of the events that helped lead to Joker Phillips' exit at Kentucky, click here.
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