Less Publicized Renovations at Rupp Arena Include Tips of Hat to Sordid Past

by Kent Sterling

Artists rendering of the new Rupp Arena, a showcase for all that is Kentucky.

Artists rendering of the new Rupp Arena, a showcase for all that is Kentucky.

Kentucky Basketball’s tradition will be celebrated in the architecture of the renovation to Rupp Arena that is scheduled to be completed by 2017, and will cost $310 million.

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There will be the typical upgrades like enough wi-fi bandwidth for all 23,000 fans, seat backs in all grandstand areas, and a transparent facade.  A brand new video scoreboard will be installed at center court, but the upgrades aren’t limited to the arena itself.  There will also be a series of immersive exhibition and displays to celebrate basketball in the Blue Grass State through the years.

“Blue and a Whole Lot of White” – A pavilion in the southern end of the new Rupp Arena will celebrate the University’s Kentucky proud tradition of caucasian-only basketball in Lexington that lasted into the late 1960s.  “Below the Rim” will showcase Rupp’s Runts, the final all-white team to earn a berth in the NCAA Finals in 1966.

Buck-ets – This exhibit will feature a carnival-esque basketball shooting contest that will reward those who make a shot with Big Blue Bucks dispensed by men dressed like World Wide Wes, the power broker associated with Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, and John Calipari.

From Whisky to Meth – 200 years of substance abuse and capitalism!  Hard to think of the Commonwealth of Kentucky without a tip of the hat to to hard liquor, drugs, and the financial success that can be reaped through taking advantage of the craving of addicts.  This interactive exhibit allows fans to see and touch a cirrhotic liver and buy fake sets on snap-in corroded teeth.

The Bare-on – Adolph Rupp was known as the Baron, and in this strange NC-17 display his nude robotic image extolls the virtues of racism.  This “Hall of Presidents”-esque event is still in beta testing and designers are battling with Rupp’s heirs over whether the mechanical image of the former winningest coach in college basketball history should appear clothed, with a towel wrapped around his waist, or completely nude.  “The words are so horrifying than the nudity might distract those tempted to pay attention to what he says,” a planner reluctant to share his name told me.

You Be Joe B. – This is another interactive exhibition where fans get to take a talented freshman and decide how to erode his skills.  Given the correct combination of audio commands and directives, video renderings of Charles Hurt and Derrick Hord digress from players with promise into hollow shells of their former selves.

Kentucky Dental Heroes – This display is designed to show that Kentuckians have a sense of humor about their stereotype.  It’s a simple empty room with unadorned walls.

All signage and directions will feature pictures only, as though prepared for international visitors.  One of the lead architects explained, “Kentuckians speak English reluctantly, and read it worse so we have designed signage in hieroglyphics.  It’s like an Olympic Stadium.  It was just easier than coming to a consensus about how to spell – “you-uns.”

50 thoughts on “Less Publicized Renovations at Rupp Arena Include Tips of Hat to Sordid Past

    1. Jerry

      Kent, you forgot the “American Express package throw”, wherein UK fans are invited to toss an AE package addressed to a UK recruit and guess how much cash will fall out……

      1. Tim Foster

        Hey jackass I live 30 miles south of you and I am a UK fan. How about meeting in the middle and we will see who has teeth when we get done. You are a perfect example of Indiana fans and to why UK will not go there to play. I was the one with a friend that had his 5 year old spat on two years ago in Bloomington. That punk ass kid better be glad I am not the guy I use to be in my twenty’s or I’d kick his ass all the way to one of those fag bars in Bloomington

        1. Ricky Smith

          Little Timmy Foster. Finally found you. If you had any stones, you’d meet me halfway at Fat Moe’s, 902 Broadway, Paducah KY. I’ll show you who’s a fag.

          Tuesday night at 8. And I did say “if”.

        2. Ricky Smith

          Crap, I am scheduled to close tomorrow night. Foster, can you do Wednesday at 8? I’m going to kick your fucking ass. You better be there.

        3. Ricky Smith

          Shit Foster, I’m working 3 to close Wednesday. So now I’m going to kick your fag ass at 1pm sharp. Just like I should have our second senior year outside Cosmic Charlie’s. Your gay you fucking homo Timmy Foster muslim.

  1. Tom Cason

    The link that sent me here credited you as being a writer….never heard of you and your crap appears to only be published on your own website. The only thing I can give you credit for is knowing how to get publicity.

    My suggestion to True Blue fans is to ignore this clown, responding is only playing into his talentless plan.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      You are very kind to infer I have crafted some plan to make a name for myself by mocking Kentuckians. The truth is far less sinister. I do it to make myself laugh. Unless you’re right, and my master plan is to publish posts every four-to-six months about Kentucky to shock you with their infrequency.

      This ‘crap’ is only published by this website because it is the only place I trust to do it. I’m very close to the guy who runs things, and he tells me my copy is gold.

      1. That must have been...

        Kent, that must have been one insanely good blow job you gave that guy for him to tell you that this was good (or even competent) writing. You swallow, don’t you?

    1. kentsterling Post author

      I always find it funny that Kentucky fans assume I write to ‘troll’ for their page views rather than writing for those who are amused by Kentucky being ripped. The truth is that I write what amuses me. If others love or hate it, that’s a mostly meaningless bonus.

  2. dajuho

    So then Indiana’s would be…
    Still white and proud….we still like to use primarily white guys on our basketball team.
    Barn Storming…..learn to rush the court when you beat IUPUI
    From corn to corn….the years between your ears
    The choke artist….learn how to properly choke your players with the “coach”.
    You be Tom Crean….learn how to take the most loaded roster in america and fail year after year, then cry about it, while giving kisses to random fans.
    Indiana Dental Heroes…..worse then KY’s they don’t even have a room. It isn’t that important.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      The “from corn to corn” made me laugh out loud. Now, see, that’s the way someone with a brain replies. As a smart UK fan with a sense of humor, you must be lonely.

      1. dajuho

        Actually there are a lot of us, normally within our own familes. Which I guess is why we “keep it in the family”…LOL…jk. In all honesty most fanbases, Kentucky, Indiana, the Yankees, whoever; have the crazies, that we all are ashamed of. Most fans, true fans focus on their own team and don’t pay to much attention to others. Still always fun to get into a good debate though.

  3. Warren / TN.

    I’ve read some really pointless and pathetic drivel about the University of Kentucky in my life, but Kent…. man, oh man. This ranks right up there with the cheapest and lowest things I’ve ever read.

    I’ve been coming to your site as a reasonable Kentucky fan, always with a thoughtful word and a respectful tone to my postings. Today, for some reason, completely out of the blue, I come here and see this. Why? What’s your point? Trolling for hits to your site? The way you go about it is low, very low, my friend. Done out of spite? Well, if so, you sure have shown your ass and true colors, Kent. You should be utterly ashamed. If not, you’re not half the man I thought you to be.

    I’ll not engage you in like dialogue for this hit piece because I hold myself to a different standard, apparently. I’ll gladly point out something like this to my many Hoosier family members as evidence of the pointless vitriol that gets spewed forth by IU supporters from time to time with no apparent reason. I know they will, to the last, nod in agreement (and shame) or reply how they don’t understand it, either.

    I’ll only admonish you here because I *think* you’re a better person – and writer – than this. I’ve seen beyond the vitriolic Kentucky fans that told – no, make that WARNED – me about visiting your site and the low esteem in which many UK fans hold you(and that is putting it nicely). After reading something like this, I can only assume you had a nasty encounter with a Kentucky fan that set you off by saying something equally childish for you to respond to like this? Even if though this is a poorly contrived cheap shot for some perceived slight done to you, you have stooped to their level, if indeed that is what has caused this pathetic attempt at poking fun over the renovations to be made at Rupp Arena. And lastly, if this was something you simply thought up and thought would be funny to say in light of the upcoming renovations, it is in the poorest taste of humor I think I’ve seen in a VERY long time.

    I really thought you were better than this. You’ll have to prove it me from here on out as to what kind of person – and man – you really are. I realize what I say must have absolutely zero effect on you, but I just wanted you to know that because I deal with people very much straight up and with transparency. I would appreciate it if you treated me likewise, and urge you to take what I’ve said here seriously.

    Here’s some additional friendly advice I think I need to share with you, as I will continue to come back and visit your site with no animosity or ill-will, regardless of what I’ve seen here today :

    Fighting cancer and living for 4 and a half decades has taught me a few things….. life is what you make of it, and it’s too short to denigrate oneself in cheap and foolish ways. Try your best to engage people in a meaningful way, with respect, and you’ll undoubtedly find they will respond likewise. Ignore the haters and those that display ignorance and stupidity. Don’t stoop to their level, you’ll only drag your own reputation down to their level. And lastly, although I realize all of this is something you’ve heard before, I’ll urge you to take heed of it all by concluding in saying :

    If you don’t have anything worthwhile to say about someone, or something, it’s best not to say anything at all.

    Words to live by, if you ask me. And the next time you try to write a humorous article – don’t (just don’t) – and stick with simply reporting and making worthwhile commentary, it’s what you do best.

    Warren in Nashville

    1. Pauly Balst

      I enjoy your thoughtful commentary Warren. It’s always well thought out and reasonable. You seem like a good man. To many, poking the Blue Bear once a quarter just for sport and watching the overreaction is unique and interesting.

      You may want to avoid Clay Travis’ Outkick the Coverage blog, Kent is courteous in comparison to his treatment of UK in the Dumbest Fanbase in Sports rankings (UK #2).

    2. kentsterling Post author

      Warren – I always appreciate your tone and decency. You are a good guy, and I like that you come to the site and share your perspective.

      I’m more than a little surprised by the reaction to the post. Mockery agitates the knuckleheads, but most people either enjoy it or decide against allowing it into their consciousness.

      A little levity in the middle of the winter is good for the soul. Don’t blame you for not finding humor in it. Your perspective isn’t the correct one for enjoying it.

      I could have written about how $310 million would be spent to upgrade a building used to showcase the talents of unpaid athletes, roughly half of whom get the shaft in terms of the education they receive as compensation. What a colossal expense to incur on behalf of a university that is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit. The whole thing is perverse, and I’m aware that Louisville’s Yum! Center is a similarly ostentatious facility (although built from the ground up for over $70 million less.

      It was more fun to talk about Kentucky Basketball in a different way. I’m not a fan of the way Kentucky blatantly contorts the mission of its athletic department to allow for the basketball team to become a way station for soon-to-be pros. I am aware that it’s no better at several other universities, but Kentucky is the most obvious and high profile violator.

      You’re a good guy, and I appreciate your words.


      1. Warren / TN.

        I’ll just say this, Kent.

        It’s not the subject, but rather how you put it and the actual content of the material you used as “humorous.” It struck me completely the wrong way and let me explain…

        The serious nature of the meth problem in states like Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana, is definitely not something that should be made light of in any way, shape, or form. People’s lives are being destroyed out there. A lot of them. Adults and children are dying out there. They’re being disfigured and injured as well.

        I think you get the point. I realize you’re trying to poke fun at a stereotype of Kentucky fans, but it’s pure hypocrisy coming from anyone in Indiana to do that. I’m sure you realize the huge issue Indiana has with meth. Your choice to use that as a point of “levity” utterly fails, and it’s a very poor choice at that.

        Secondly, you fall back on the old racism stereotype to poke fun. Well, I suppose you can consider that an easy way to get a laugh out of someone that dislikes Kentucky, granted. But yet again, I’ve come to look at things like racism in a vastly different light over my lifetime.

        In my estimation, racism is given a refreshing breath of rejuvenation over and over again by people that make use of it in a flippant manner. It’s done all too often, in my opinion. I’m not going to go any further into that, other than to say this : You could have chosen something other than that to use as humorous material, Kent. It also was done in poor taste.

        I love a good laugh as much as anyone else. It’s one of the keys in living my life to try and laugh as much as possible. Unfortunately the methods chosen for humor sometimes falls far short of its’ intent. If you’re going to attempt humor on your site, next time, try a lot harder.

        1. Jeremy

          It’s beyond comprehension Warren. I spend my nights at work caring for the sick while providing compassion and expertise in a 500 bed hospital. My wife spends her days delivering anesthesia in a operating room with a skill set that literally saves lives on a day to day basis. Our very existence involves caring for our patients at work and most certainly revolves around our children at home. Everything we do is focused on improving the commuity in which we reside here in Central KY.

          I can’t imagine living a life that is built on a foundation of negativity. A life that I wake up the next morning knowing what I did or said the previous day resulted in nothing but displeasure and anger from other folks. Stereotyping, making fun and laughing at entire groups of people just for the simple fact that it “amuses me.” It’s just simply beyond comprehension, I can’t imagine a life like that. What a completely pathetic and meaningless waste of time.

          You obviously have talent and your videos are pretty good. You’re well spoken, knowledgable and I found myself just as engaged as I would have been had I been watching an ESPN segment. Too bad you’re ignoring the gift you have and decided to engage in this hateful nonsense!

          1. kentsterling Post author

            First, congratulations to you and your wife for the help you bring to those in need. It’s difficult, stressful, but ultimately so rewarding.

            Making fun of Kentucky Basketball fans every three months or so is like the trips my Dad took us on down state highways back when cars had carburetors. He would stand on the gas for five or six miles, and the car ran better for awhile as a result. Maybe he just needed an excuse to go fast, and maybe I need a trip to mockery once in a while to purge.

  4. Phil

    This genuinely cracked me up, but not for the reasons Kent Sterling (who?) intended. The site looks like it was designed by a C student at a bad public middle school (there’s a 404 error under the menu page? Seriously?) and the “jokes” never reach beyond stereotypes or otherwise sophomoric and sometimes creepy (you sit around and think of Adolph Rupp naked it seems, I suggest counseling). The idea that anyone would have spent more than 5 minutes writing this is beyond hysterical and the fact that Sterling couldn’t find a site to post it other than one bearing his own name only compounds the humor. Thanks for the laugh, Kent, whoever you are.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      I don’t look for sites to post what I write, as I enjoy posting on the one I own. Is that too complex?

      1. Phil

        Yeah, I mean that and the fact that no organization with any credibility or semblance of professionalism would accept this dreck. If your work at your other job was of the same quality, I see why “Kent Sterling fired” was one of the first results when I Googled your name. I had to do that, you see, because you’re essentially a nobody. Again, thanks for the laughs.

  5. Blackhawk

    The only problem I have, well other than not being very funny, is the continued hint of racism….as if Kentucky is the only state with it. It eludes to the notion that UK was the last all white team in the country. Hello I’m pretty sure BYU comes pretty darn close every year and UK wasn’t the last by the way. The discussing of the virtues of racism. Come on. So me a fan base of any sport that doesn’t have racists in it? Not an excuse for it to happen but more of a commentary on society as a whole. I personally don’t find it funny to make it sound as if that is who are. Wanna make redneck jokes, fine. Wanna talk about bourbon and meth, a stretch but what ever. Wanna say something about World Wide Wes, go right ahead. Take a shot at Joe B Hall, almost a bad as the one Knight gave him back in 75…be my guest. Those are all old and unoriginal because you can find them on just about any chat room you go into with in 5 seconds of looking up Kentucky Basketball…even the racists ones. It’s just the racist ones, more than the others aren’t funny to me. Especially when Indiana has a governor in their past history who was a Klan member and who had over half the general assembly as Klan members while in offices. You’ve got history too that isn’t pretty and is a black eye on society. Yet the images you try to evoke on UK aren’t founded. Everyone is quick to say Rupp was racist but seem to be laking in actual facts on the subject.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      That post wasn’t about Indiana. It was about the new Rupp Arena. Why is Indiana’s racism at issue? And I’m quite sure that racism still exists in Indiana. It’s awful wherever it is. The Indiana Senate passed a resolution today that proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage, which is ridiculous. We can talk about that too, but it’s not the point.

      I’ve read a lot about Rupp pro and con, and I’m choosing to believe a piece written by Frank Deford. I’m aware that those in the room at the time refute what Deford claims to have heard.

      1. Stephen Phillips

        “Despite the piece being disputed by people in the room, I choose to believe Deford”.

        So, you’re willing to take an accusation of racism by one man, refuted by many, just because you hate UK? That’s what it sounds like. While we’re on the topic, I’m accusing you of being a pedophile. Even if others say you aren’t, I’ll continue believing that because I don’t like you. That’s how it works, right?

        1. kentsterling Post author

          No, I’m willing to trust the dispassionate journalist who has built a reputation throughout his career by telling the truth or the players who are motivated to scrub Rupp’s legacy.

  6. Emerson Whitaker

    Could one of you chaps kindly spare some detail on “Deliverance: The dueling banjo bar” at the new Rupp? Just what do they mean by “paddle faster, I hear banjos!”? Is that not the purpose of attendance?

    I had a splendid time at a dueling piano bar in Chicago where you sing along to show tunes. Is this similar in nature? Egads, this sounds sublime!

  7. Mike Davis

    I was the only coach Indiana has employed in over 20 years and the only coach that has remotely sniffed success…I was fired despite my success…and I’m black. And you call Kentucky racist?

  8. Dane Poe

    Kent wants his mommy but she dumped him years ago. It’s ashame that social media has wantabee Booby Knight’s fans out there acting like stupid idiots.

  9. Tom Schrute

    Assembly Hall renovation plans! Breaking news! Updates will include:

    1. Crean’s Barbershop and Kissing booth- where you can have your hair cut to look like the retarded love child of Tom Arnold and Dwight Schrute from The Office! Afterwards, Coach Crean himself will plant a kiss on you (with tongue) so you can experience the life of his teenage son.
    2. Banner hanging station- Standards have dropped at IU to the point of hanging Sweet 16 banners, and now you fans can get your own personalized banners to hang at the gym with your name, and the fact that you were here. Due to the lack of real banners since the Reagan we at IU have learned to appreciate the most insignificant of accomplishments.
    3. Sewing with your local Klan leader- We Hoosiers are proud that our state once had one of the largest and most politically powerful KKK chapters in America. Now you can sew your own pointy ghost costume with one of the Indiana Klans former leaders. Fun for the whole family!
    4. Indiana Cultural Center- Attractions include photos and displays of the Indy 500, corn, the crippling despair and misery that is Gary, and…did we mention the Indy 500?!

    So come one come all to the new Assembly Hall!

    1. kentsterling Post author

      See. Now we’re getting somewhere. Fight fire with fire. Having fun at the expense of others can be good clean fun. Not sure why Indiana is the target, but okay.

      1. Tom Schrute

        You don’t get why Indiana is the target…? Because almost all of this apparently North Korean propaganda department designed website is dedicated to Indiana sports. As such, and given your inane rantings on the ending of the UK-IU series, I think it’s safe to assume you’re a Hoosier. That, and because it’s just really easy to mock Indiana, the state and the team. You Hoosiers import a bunch of Euro trash and South Americans, watch them make a large traffic jam, and it’s your biggest cultural event in the state – the Indy 500. The one thing that brought you Hoosiers joy was Bob Knight and his pro rape, pro choking approach to coaching basketball, and even that’s gone now. It’s been quite a while since the 80s, no wonder you guys storm the court all the time now.

  10. Jeremy

    Lexington currently ranked as a top 50 city to live, top 10 to retire, top 5 to raise a family and top 5 to start a small business. Recently voted the 10th smartest city in US based upon number of college grads. Try again smart guy!

  11. Chris

    IU has a lousy season, so it’s time to begin bashing the Commonwealth. Lived across the river 6 years and loved every minute of it. There is a sense of “place” like no other; well, one could toss Texas in there.

    In any event, the piece was humorous and certainly got a rise out of some folks in the Bluegrass. Of course, Kentuckians are cut from a different cloth and don’t always take stuff like this in jest.

    The bottom line, The Commonwealth of Kentucky (collegiate) basketball has been far more dominate than Indiana hoops for years. The Wildcats have been to 10 final 4’s and have won 4 national titles since 1975. The Louisville Cardinals have 8 final 4 berths and 3 national titles. Conversely, Indiana has 5 final 4’s and 3 national tiles. Butler has two final 4’s and Purdue and Notre Dame has one final 4 appearance each since 75. I’ll take the hillapes from the Commonwealth over the hilljacks from Indiana in this category.

    Let’s talk recent history, say 10 years and it’s really a joke for the state of Indiana. Kentucky and Louisville are producing national championship caliber teams year in and year out. We Hoosiers just can’t stand the fact that Kentucky hoops are far superior. We produce better homegrown talent, yet we allow them to slip away to other programs, sometimes Kentucky and Louisville.

    It comes down to how bad a program wants it. IU hires coaches like Davis, Sampson, and Crean and we have nothing to show for it. Yeah, we cut down the nests after a home loss to celebrate a Big Ten title. Oh, and let’s rush the floor after finally beating Wisconsin. Yes, Wisconsin. Fred Glass would be served well by hanging out at Rupp and the Yum Center for a few weeks to witness coaching clinics night in and night out by Pitino and Calipari.

    80% of UK’s scoring comes from freshman each year, yet Crean continues to place IU’s woes on youth. Louisville’s bench would beat IU’s starters 8 out of 10 games.

    To be honest, I loved living in the Commonwealth, but man it sucked listening to their fans brag about winning all of the time while IU has languished in mediocrity. We’re not an elite program and haven’t been for 20 years. I travel around the country and nobody considers IU an elite program. Hell, the University of Cincinnati and Oklahoma State were elite programs 50-60 years ago.

    I think I just talked myself into heading back across the river and maybe getting some of those meth snags to sport while watching IU drop 5 of the next 6 to finish below .500.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Move to Lively Shively. It’s a wonderland! The Billy Gillespie years weren’t magical. Kentucky has lost in double digits eight times in the 15 seasons. Not exactly a perennial winner.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      Yes, I make fun of people who were racists 50 years ago. They were buffoons and deserve to be mocked. It’s regrettable that people in Kentucky tolerated such stupidity until 45 years ago.


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