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  • How time changes -- Camryn Whitaker happy at Kentucky just weeks ago

    By: LARRY VAUGHT



    Just a few weeks ago Camryn Whitaker was recruiting for next season and seemed perfectly happy coaching at Kentucky, the school the former Harrison County standout grew up cheering for.

    That's the same impression I had in mid March when I interviewed her for a feature I told her I wanted to save for June during the offseason.

    Not once did she mention she might not be at Kentucky then and she even invited me to come see her any time during the summer.

    Yet Whitaker is part of the purge at Kentucky women's basketball. She has resigned even though coach Matthew Mitchell said Wednesday he wanted her to stay. Reports are she is pursuing two head coaching jobs in Kentucky -- and I hope she gets one.

    Here's part of what she told me in March that made me think she had no intention of leaving UK any time soon.

    Question: What has it been like to be back close to your home in Cynthiana?
    Whitaker: "Just being around family and friends, there is a certain comfort level you have just knowing if you need something, they are 30 minutes away. This is really home. Cynthiana is a small town, so we had to come to Lexington for everything. I grew up with my grandfather bringing me to games here and watching the men play. Of course, coach Mitchell has done wonders with the women's program and when I was growing up, it wasn't what it is now. That speaks of him and what he has been able to do. It is nice being home. I really enjoy seeing my family after every game. That's what is really important to me. Of course, Kentucky is a place I love so it makes it really easy to coach here."

    Question: Is it true when Mitchell says there is not a calm bone in your body?
    Whitaker: "I get pretty excited. I am competitive. It tends to come out in games. It is hard for me to control. I don't know how calm I stay on the bench because I get after the girls. I don't feel calm. I was never calm as a player and I coach very much like I played -- tense, competitive and hard-nosed. That's the way I think our kids play."

    Question: Is your goal to eventually be a head coach?
    Whitaker: "Right now I just really enjoy my position as an assistant. Coach Mitchell has given me a lot of room to grow and given me a lot of voice and freedom to coach. I am really enjoying that. I just want to work hard for Kentucky. I want to see our team get to Final Fours because I think this is a place you should do and I think that is becoming the expectation here. I know that is Coach's expectation and that is mine. We want to win. We want to win a national championship. We feel like this is a place where it can be done with hard work, honesty and all the things that we teach on a daily basis. I am just enjoying being at Kentucky. This is a place that I love and that means more to me than moving on and being a head coach somewhere. I don't think you can teach the passion that you have for a school you grew up around and grew up loving."
    This article was originally published in forum thread: How time changes -- Camryn Whitaker happy at Kentucky just weeks ago started by Darrell KSR View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. UKHistory's Avatar
      UKHistory -
      None of this makes sense. Women's basketball has a low threshold for success.

      Get to the ncaas and be competitive. Avoid ncaa problems or scandals.

      whatever is going on is enough to make people resign without a job. People don't do that if they are sane. Unless of course something is going on that is so upsetting you have to leave.
    1. KSRBEvans's Avatar
      KSRBEvans -
      Calling it a "purge" implies it wasn't up to the players and coaches--they were told to leave. Am I misreading, Larry?
    1. Rock Hard Ten's Avatar
      Rock Hard Ten -
      Okay, time for some more transparency…..what is really going on….ETWAppel hinted on another thread…..surely someone on this board can give us the straight scoop
    1. UKHistory's Avatar
      UKHistory -
      We have a rumor of infidelity and with that the larger issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. And a sexual/inappropriate relationship between a head coach and one of his assistants is a sexual harassment issue for the rest of the staff.

      Such an issue makes UK vulnerable to a lawsuit by one of these assistant coaches. Such a move hurts their career opportunities-it should not but it does--so I don't think it will happen.

      But this whole thing smells bad.
    1. LarryVaught1's Avatar
      LarryVaught1 -
      Still hearing lot of rumors/stories but nothing I feel confident enough about to put in writing.
    1. catmanjack's Avatar
      catmanjack -
      While those are rumors there seems to be enough of the same smoke coming from many areas, with that Mitchell knows the true story and should do what's best for UK and resign.
    1. UKHistory's Avatar
      UKHistory -
      Quote Originally Posted by LarryVaught1 View Post
      Still hearing lot of rumors/stories but nothing I feel confident enough about to put in writing.
      And we should all be careful what we say write or repeat. But for certain Mitchell has done a poor job in handling this. Depending on what has taken place. Barnhart may not have handled well either.
    1. ETWNAPPEL's Avatar
      ETWNAPPEL -
      I don't think he should have to resign. Maybe it's because I'm a sinner too. But I do believe he needs to humble himself a little, keep his family in line and stay professional at work. If not, then yes resign.
    1. catmanjack's Avatar
      catmanjack -
      My concern is the way to this point Mitchell has handled the situation, deflecting and pushing the concerns in different directions.
      Like he is above UK and the situation.
    1. MickintheHam's Avatar
      MickintheHam -
      Quote Originally Posted by Rock Hard Ten View Post
      Okay, time for some more transparency…..what is really going on….ETWAppel hinted on another thread…..surely someone on this board can give us the straight scoop
      HINTED???
    1. UKHistory's Avatar
      UKHistory -
      Quote Originally Posted by ETWNAPPEL View Post
      I don't think he should have to resign. Maybe it's because I'm a sinner too. But I do believe he needs to humble himself a little, keep his family in line and stay professional at work. If not, then yes resign.
      The only person who has shared anything is you so I am unsure about the "keep family in line" but "stay professional at work" is another issue.

      Don't have sex with a subordinate. Clearly that created a hostile environment with the rest of the staff.

      IF what you allege did occur and we keep Mitchell that makes us no better than UofL for rehiring Petrino. And to a lesser extent Pitino involved his staff with his personal sexual liaisons.

      Putting aside moral objections, sexual harassment in the work place is a really bad thing that puts the employer in jeopardy if the institution does not address it properly.

      And Mitchell's behavior on the radio, in the press conference, and in his extended interview with the Herald Leader Jen Smith left the impression of a man hiding something.
    1. Padukacat's Avatar
      Padukacat -
      Well he wont be able to keep this under wraps. Doesnt mean he wont keep his job but in the court of public opinion if this leaks out to the masses, which it likely will, it is going to really hurt his reputation with fans as well as recruits and their parents. Based on the inevitable fallout you have to resign, and if you dont you have to be fired. The program is in a great place and should be able to make a good hire. Its a shame, i likeld MM.