LEXINGTON—The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees passed a unanimous resolution to float the University of Kentucky Athletic Association (UKAA) a $3 million loan so the scoreboard at Commonwealth Stadium could be upgraded. The loan is to be issued at 1.64% APR, otherwise known as the “University of Kentucky General Fund Good ‘ol Boy Rate.”
“We shopped around to come up with the cash we need for the scoreboard project, and this is by far the best interest rate we could find,” said UK Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart. “Not even the University of Kentucky Federal Credit Union could offer terms this generous,” he said. “The best they could do was an 5.4% APR on a home equity loan.”
Barnhart said that he had first tried to ask UK Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari for a personal loan, to come out of his $6 million dollar annual salary, but Calipari said that he would not make a loan with anything less than a 10% yield.
“We also explored the option of taking out some money with Check Into Cash,” said Barnhart. “But their policy is to lend no more than $500 at a time, with an APR of 700%.”
To many faculty members, the decision by the Board of Trustees to lend the UKAA such a large sum of money is the final insult.
“This is the ultimate violation of the divide between college sports for entertainment and education,” said Ernie Yarinella, a member of the UK Faculty Senate. Yarinella is circulating a petition to repeal the “loan.”
“One would think that some how, some way, the Athletics Association would be able to save a slice of their giant pie that is the television contract revenue and come up with the cash to make this improvement,” Yarinella said. “Or, why can’t they just ask those old K Fund donors to step up to the plate?
In 2009, the Southeastern Conference signed a record $2.25 billion television contact with ESPN, which adds to the already-existing $825 million arrangement with CBS sports.
The money for the scoreboard upgrade will come from the University’s general fund, which will be enriched next year with a 6% tuition increase.
For the first time in The Colonel‘s history, I have lost the will to keep writing an article in the middle of writing it because this situation is so ridiculous that it cannot be satirized.