Eric Bledsoe's Transcript Release Angers Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart
Barnhart was particularly troubled by the release of Bledsoe's high school transcript and suggested there was legal recourse available.
"If I'm the kid ... and my transcript is released to someone, I want to know who did it," Barnhart said. "That's a privacy issue. I would say that there's probably some legal implications there. Whoever released that or found a way to leak that out has got some challenges. Because I think that's very unfair to that young person. That's something that's way out of line. And someone had better figure out real quick that that's not the way to do business."
Asked what he would think if it was his son's transcript that had been publicly released, Barnhart pulled no punches.
"Hot. I'd be hot. I'd be hot," he said.
Barnhart stated that Kentucky now found itself at the top of the college sports flagpole.
"The flag always blows really hard at the top," he said said. "And so it's blowing hard up there. And if you want to to be at the top of the flagpole, you've got to understand how hard it blows."
Barnhart also acknowledged that hiring John Calipari had brought even greater attention to the program. "Our program will be under scrutiny anyway because we're Kentucky, and then you throw [Calipari] in the mix and it's going to be under greater scrutiny. So you're mandated to be absolutely on it every day. ... Two years ago people were not paying a whole lot of attention to Kentucky and all of a sudden we're relevant again."
Barnhart was asked if he felt the New York Times' investigative piece had been fair.
"I guess I'm not a real good, from an unobjective position, [person] to talk about fairness," he said. "I think that's in the eyes of whoever is talking. I know that we go through it at UK, work real hard at it. Sandy Bell in our compliance office does a marvelous job. She's really good at what she does. We went through every review at our level, at the NCAA level on Eric's academics and they were comfortable with it, we're comfortable with it. [The NCAA] cleared him. He fought hard for us for a year, we wish him all the best. He did everything down the stretch academically we needed him to do. So I'm not going to get into fairness. People have to live with what they do and we're comfortable with where we are with Eric Bledsoe and wish him all the best as a pro."
Asked specifically whether he believed it was surprising that a student could go from a 1.9 GPA to a 2.5 GPA in the span of a year, Barnhart said he did not.
"Not at all, not at all. I think the other thing you forget is that you can replace courses. ... You can get better on one side, drop things that are not helpful to your GPA on the other side. So that's not unusual at all."
Ultimately, Barnhart felt Kentucky's success brought greater attention. "It's unfortunate in our world," Barnhart said, "there will be people who will be jealous."
Listen to Mitch Barnhart's full interview on the radio by clicking here.