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UK announced on Tuesday that freshman Trey Lyles is recovering from a medical procedure on his left leg. The recovery process will force him to miss UK's games as part of a trip to the Bahamas in August, but Lyles is expected to return in time for practice in October.

Lyles will join junior Willie Cauley-Stein on the sideline. Cauley-Stein underwent surgery after the season to repair a stress fracture in his left foot.

Soon after the news came out, John Calipari took to Twitter to talk about it.




Lyles, a 6-foot-10 forward from Indianapolis, Ind., is a member of UK's highly touted incoming freshman class. He and his three classmates -- Devin Booker, Tyler Ulis and Karl-Anthony Towns -- are on campus along with a deep and talented crop of returnees from last year's national runner-up team.

UK signed a 15-year, $210 million multimedia rights agreement with JMI Sports on Monday. (Jake Most, UK Athletics) UK signed a 15-year, $210 million multimedia rights agreement with JMI Sports on Monday. (Jake Most, UK Athletics)
As he cast a vision for the future when he set foot on campus, Mitch Barnhart had more questions than answers for himself and his staff.

Those questions, though, were posed more as challenges than anything else.

"If we had proper resources, what were the expectations for our programs?" Barnhart said. "Could we be better than who we were? Would we be able to grow our programs and give opportunities for our student-athletes to be competitive in the most difficult league in America and nationally? Could we do that?"

The answer, 12 years later, is a resounding yes.

Poised to finish in the top 15 of the national all-sports standings for the first time in department history, UK is competitive across all sports unlike ever before, but Barnhart isn't content. He's intent on taking UK Athletics to the next level.

That, however, can't happen without help.

"As we do that, you've got to have partners, and you have to have people that you want to work with," Barnhart said.

On Monday, Barnhart identified a new partner.

UK awarded its athletics and campus multimedia rights to JMI Sports, signing a 15-year, $210 million agreement -- one of the most valuable of its kind in college sports history -- that will begin in April 2015. The deal, according to Barnhart, represents an important step toward guaranteeing the financial strength that have allowed UK to give its student-athletes and coaches the resources necessary to go to that next level.

"We're excited about what this means for the University of Kentucky and the stability it provides for our program going forward and just the unbelievable opportunities we think it creates for us as an institution, not just an athletic department," Barnhart said.

The agreement represents a change for UK. The school's current deal -- 10 years, $80.5 million -- with IMG Sports expires next April, so a Request for Proposals was issued this winter to prepare in case a transition would be necessary.

UK's priorities were threefold.

"First and foremost, we want to have a network that our fans can absolutely stay in contact with University of Kentucky athletic teams, the successes that we have, the things that we're doing," Barnhart said.

That will be achieved by continuing to provide a best-in-class radio network. JMI Sports, as part of its proposal, committed to maintaining and developing UK's affiliate lineup, retaining current announcers like Tom Leach, Mike Pratt and Neil Price and even potentially leasing and operating a station of its own in Lexington and/or Louisville.

"We have the opportunity now to reach places through the radio stations that we have in our footprint or in our inventory, whatever you want to call it," Barnhart said. "We have incredible opportunities, I think, to give our fans what they want, and that's to listen to the great talent that we have on the radio, the opportunity to see our teams play when they're not at home."

Next, UK set out to address its facilities, at least in part, through the RFP.

The department has made tremendous strides in recent years -- from the ongoing renovation of Commonwealth Stadium to John Cropp Stadium to the soon-to-be-completed soccer complex -- but Barnhart's facilities checklist remains incomplete, with the baseball stadium, indoor tennis facility and Memorial Coliseum upgrades at the top.

Helping on that front will a $29.4 million signing bonus UK will receive from JMI Sports over the first two years of the media rights agreement.

Finally, UK Athletics sought to strengthen its relationship with the university it represents with its new multimedia rights deal, both in securing its self-sustaining financial status and in adding on-campus multimedia rights to the RFP.

"When you talk about campus rights, we're looking at the non-athletic side, and so looking at opportunities to expand on relationships with existing partners that we may have in the athletic enterprise but new partners," Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric Monday said. "It could be everything from digital signage opportunities on the campus and way-finding like another institution is doing. It could be access to students. It could be internships. It could be employment opportunities, guest speakers that we bring to the campus."

Combining those three priorities and an unmatched $210 million offer, JMI Sports was the obvious choice when the RFP process reached its conclusion this spring.

Founded in 2006, the company is a relative newcomer to the industry and UK is its first multimedia rights client. JMI Sports, however, is hardly entering uncharted waters given its experience.

Developer, philanthropist and former San Diego Padres owner John Moores founded the company with Chief Executive Officer Erik Judson. Judson is experienced in athletics himself, having managed major development projects like the Padres' Petco Park and the University of Oregon's Matthew Knight Arena. If that wasn't enough, JMI Sports hired former Greenup, Ky., native Tom Stultz as president, who worked closely with UK during his time as IMG College vice president.

"I think our experience is more than enough of a foundation, but I think actually our perspective is what is going to grow the business, and the approach we are going to take is going to have a flagship in Kentucky that we're going to give a tremendous amount of focus to," Judson said. "Our organization takes this very seriously, and I think the financial contribution certainly speaks to that, but Tom and I personally are going to be involved in this property every day."

The agreement with UK represents JMI Sports' first foray into multimedia rights and some may see that as a risk for a brand as well-established as UK. Barnhart, on the other hand, sees it as an opportunity to take another step toward his vision of building the best athletics department in the nation.

"I don't think that we miss a beat," Barnhart said. "As a matter of fact, I think we get better, and I love the focus that they say we're their flagship and we're their folks, and I like that a lot."

How's this for a play call?

On 4th-and-41 against Ole Miss in 1965, UK great Larry Seiple ran a fake punt 70 yards for a touchdown. Don't believe it? Check out this video.


On Friday night, Seiple -- who played 11 years with the Miami Dolphins -- will be inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame.

UK Athletics is one step closer to reaching Mitch Barnhart's goal of a top-15 Directors' Cup finish.

Adding in the points gained from solid finishes by the men's and women's track and field teams, UK moved up to No. 13 in the latest national all-sports standings, up from 16th just nine days ago. UK ranks third among Southeastern Conference teams, trailing only Florida (No. 2) and Texas A&M (No. 11).

Final Directors' Cup standings will be released on June 19 to include baseball. With UK's regional final trip, the Wildcats are likely to move up slightly and put the finishing touches on one of the best season's in program history and eclipse last year's record No. 25 finish.

In November 2008, Barnhart unveiled his 15 by 15 by 15 plan, challenging UK to finish in the top 15 of Directors' Cup standings, win 15 conference or national championships and achieve a 3.0 department-wide grade-point average by the year 2015. UK is on pace for that top-15 finish, is in the midst of a four-semester streak with GPAs of 3.0 or better and has won 11 conference or national championships.

Players get sneak peek at 2014 poster

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Next month, the 2014 Kentucky football poster will be available to the public. But on Thursday, a handful of players got an early look at it.

If their reaction is any indication, the Big Blue Nation is going to like it.

Bud Dupree, especially, is a fan.


Za'Darius Smith and Bud Dupree combined for 13 sacks in 2013. (Chet White, UK Athletics) Za'Darius Smith and Bud Dupree combined for 13 sacks in 2013. (Chet White, UK Athletics)
With the countdown to the start of the college football season closing in on two months, ESPN's Southeastern Conference blog is ranking the top players in the league by position. On Wednesday, they tackled defensive end.

A pair of Wildcats -- Bud Dupree and Za'Darius Smith checked in at No. 4 and No. 10. Here's what Chris Low had to say about them.

4. Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Sr., Kentucky:
Having successfully made the transition from outside linebacker to end last season when Mark Stoops and his staff arrived, the 6-4, 267-pound Dupree has finished in the top 10 in the SEC in sacks each of the past two seasons. He's the essence of consistency and has made at least three tackles in each of the 26 games he's started in his college career.

10. Za'Darius Smith, Sr., Kentucky: The other half of Kentucky's talented end tandem, the 6-6, 264-pound Smith made a big impact a year ago after coming over from junior college. He finished with six sacks and had a sack or tackle for loss in six games. Junior college players typically make a big jump in their second year in the program, which means Smith could really take off in 2014.


Considering many of the 10 players on this list are likely to star on Sundays in the not-too-distant future, that's high praise for the two cornerstones of Mark Stoops' second UK defense.

Link: Ranking the SEC defensive ends

NewCWS-reseating-Splash-Page-graphic FINAL (2).jpg We have told you about all the wonderful things the renovation of Commonwealth Stadium will do for our program and our fans. As the 2015 opening of The New CWS approaches, there are two important things for all fans to know.

  1. There will be a reseating and new seat selection process for EVERYONE in Commonwealth Stadium for 2015 beginning this fall.
  2. Your K Fund priority ranking as of June 30, 2014 matters in this process.

By now, you should have renewed your season tickets for the 2014 season. If you have not, make sure to buy your season tickets as soon as possible. This is important because, when your turn comes to select your 2015 season tickets this fall, you will initially be able to select the same number of seats for 2015 as you have in 2014. Requests for additional seats will be handled after the priority seat selection process is completed, based on availability.

The order in which fans will select their 2015 seats will be based on K Fund priority ranking as of June 30, 2014. The more priority points you have, the sooner you will be able to select the seats that best fit your needs. With that in mind, we encourage you to raise your priority ranking by donating to the K Fund before June 30. Visit this page to see a snapshot of current priority rankings.

For more details, visit our Timeline and FAQ page. However, we also know you all have unique needs. For that reason, we encourage you to contact the K Fund Office at (859) 257-6300 or the Ticket Office at (800) 928-CATS (2287) or email us at TheNewCWS@uky.edu with any additional questions.

We look forward to working with you to best fill your needs in the new seat selection process and we thank you for your support of Kentucky football. Without you, the bright future we are working toward would not be possible.

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