An Open Letter to Coach Cal

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Dear Coach Calipari,

Congratulations on a terrific season. You assembled an exciting group of young men who gave University of Kentucky fans a thrill a minute this year. We’ll be talking about this team for years, if not forever.

But that’s not why I’m writing you. I want to say how delighted I was to see your remarks in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal sports section where you gave us a preview of your new book. It was the headline that caught me eye: “Why ‘One and Done’ Must End.”

In your book, “Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out,” you explain why you have embraced “one-and-done” players – and why you want the NBA’s eligibility rules to change.

In other words, you would like to see our phenomenal UK players, like Julius Randle, James Young, and the Harrison twins, hang around Lexington for at least one more year.

You told the Wall Street Journal, “I’ve made it work for the teams I coach – and for the players – as best I can. But I don’t like it one bit. Some people say I’m renting the players or I’m working the system. Let me make this very clear: I want to coach players for four years.”

You go on to say that very few of the young players are truly ready for the rigors of the NBA and you’d like to see them benefit from more time in the classroom and on a college campus.

Coach, I like your suggestion that what you propose wouldn’t be that radical or difficult. “All that it would require is that the NBA come together with the players association and agree that no player comes into the league until at least two years after his high-school class has graduated.”

Great idea! Can you get it done before the end of the week?

There’s a lot more in your book that I’d like to discuss with you. Why don’t you stop by the KET studios and we’ll tape a One to One show.

Until then, take care of that bad hip and enjoy some well-earned time with your family. And, once again, thanks for a super season.

All the best,

Bill

Jimmy Rose and Coal Keeps the Lights On

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Singer-songwriter Jimmy Rose has seen the bright lights in the big cities – and he expects to be back in the limelight soon.

Rose is the Pineville native, coal miner, and Marine Corps veteran who finished third on NBC’s America’s Got Talent show last September. Since then he’s toured the country with other stars from the program. Back in Kentucky, Rose has played the opening of a Mt. Sterling car dealership, and he’s planning a concert at Renfro Valley.

Rose also found time to visit KET for a taping of this Sunday’s One to One. He shares his hit song “Coal Keeps the Lights On” with us. For the blog today, Rose also sings another original tune we think you’ll enjoy:

You can watch my conversation with Jimmy Rose, Sunday at 1 p.m. on One to One.

Debating Fairness Laws

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Senate Bill 140 and House Bill 171 would amend Kentucky’s civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Although neither measure is expected to make it out of committee during this legislative session, the proposals sparked heated debate on Monday’s edition of Kentucky Tonight.

The bills would add those two protected classes to the stae civil rights act and cover those individuals from discrimination in employment, sale or lease of property, public accommodations, housing insurance, and financial and credit transactions. Covington, Frankfort, Lexington, Louisville, Morehead, and Vicco already have local fairness ordinances. The Danville City Commission is scheduled to consider a similar law next month.

The Kentucky Tonight panel included Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation of Kentucky; Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign; Richard Nelson, executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center; and Enid Trucios-Haynes, president of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.

Nelson said he was concerned that fairness laws actually force sexual orientation into the workplace hiring process. “How in the world is the employer supposed to know that somebody is homosexual unless you bring it up?” Nelson asked. “I think employers don’t want to go there.”

Trucios-Haynes responded that 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies already have fairness policies in place.

“They’re not asking people in their interviews what their sexual orientation is,” Trucios-Haynes explained. “More often than not what happens is people are denied promotion opportunities or terminated when an employer finds out that they’re LGBT. So no one is asking for preferences; all we’re asking for is that someone not be targeted and discriminated against merely because of their sexual orientation.”

Watch the full Kentucky Tonight program.


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