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Athletics Director Larry Ivy
Football Press Conference
Feb. 6, 2001

"I met with Coach Hal Mumme this afternoon and officially accepted his resignation as our head football coach. Coach Mumme will be making a statement for you tomorrow. While not admitting any NCAA violations, he felt that the problems we had encountered with the football program were under his watch and that he should shoulder the responsibility for those problems, thus resulting in his resignation."

"The investigation is ongoing. Sandy Bell hopes to have it wrapped up soon, and we hope to have that available as quickly as we can."

On why the resignation comes the day before the national signing period begins…
"We felt it was imperative. Two things that are of the utmost importance to me are, number one, the welfare of our current student-athletes, and we've talked to them on several occasions. Also, I was equally as concerned about our potential student-athletes who have committed to us. I didn't want to wait until after the signing date and have this decision made, putting them in a place where they didn't have a choice. WE hope that the student-athletes that have committed to us have committed to the University of Kentucky, but if there are any who have committed to play football for Hal Mumme, we wanted them to have the opportunity to make that change if necessary."

"This is not a buy-out situation. It's a situation where Hal has resigned, and we feel an obligation that some type of severance will be in order. That figure has not been arrived at as of yet. We will negotiate that with Hal. We thank him for the excitement that he brought back to Kentucky football. We had three really fun years. Last year wasn't so much fun, and we look forward to getting back to that type of atmosphere with our football program."

"The investigation is not complete, and I cannot comment on that until it is complete. I hope that will be very soon."

"It's been a tough two-and-a-half months. The program has been under a cloud and I don't think that Hal felt he could remove that cloud with the investigation turning up something new weekly. And we don't know that it is over yet. Hal thought that it was in his best interest and the best interest of the program to go ahead and resign."

On if he wanted Coach Mumme's resignation…
"What I wanted from day one was a complete and thorough investigation. What I want, and have always wanted, is what's best for this university and this football program. To ask if I wanted it; no. I would have loved for us to go 9-2 last year and go to a major bowl and not have this investigation. That wasn't the case."

On whether Coach Mumme was in over his head in a Division I football program…
"I think we competed immediately. I think he did an outstanding job from day one. Even last year we had some tough losses. I think Hal is an outstanding coach, and he'll be coaching somewhere in the days to come."

On what his meeting with Coach Mumme was like…
"I didn't ask for his resignation. We talked in general about where he thought the program was, and where we thought the program could go if he continued. I think it was more of a mutual understanding that if in fact a change was made, it would be for the betterment of the program."

Additional comments…
"A lot of times the last people to be informed of anything is the players. We've tried through representatives of the team and speaking to the team ourselves, to keep them informed. They were concerned about all the rumors and about what potential violations we were going to have. They were concerned about things you would expect them to be concerned about. They were also concerned about any additional changes to the coaching staff. The uncertainty with young people is what is most damaging. We hope that today we have put all of that to rest and can get to the business at hand."

"When looking for a replacement, we felt an obligation to the people who were here, to the players who are here and the players coming in. And in discussing the people who fit the bill under that scenario and with those conditions, we had an excellent candidate on our staff. He was an associate head coach, the players had the utmost respect for him, and it was well received by the players, in fact. If there was going to be a change, that was a request that I had received, that Coach Guy Morriss be considered. In the past couple of days we've had serious discussions with him, and he's agreed to take the job for the next year. He will be our head football coach for the 2001 season. We will evaluate that performance as the season goes on and at the end of the season, as we do with all of our coaches, we'll discuss where we think the program is under Coach Morriss."

"He was an outstanding NFL player and has great coaching experience. He's someone who I've come to know here and have great respect for. We did a background check on him and have had just rave reviews from everyone who has worked with him and everyone who knows him. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you our new head football coach, Guy Morriss."

 

 

2014 National Signing Day Commonwealth Stadium