As far as anyone can remember, this is the first time the University of Kentucky has played a basketball game in a casino.
Of course, for a program with a major gambling scandal in its distant history, that’s not necessarily bringing up good images.
But it does bring to mind a story I heard recently that I can’t help but tell. Sometime after the gambling scandal hit UK, Southeastern Conference fans took to throwing coins down onto the court whenever UK came to play.
Wildcats coach Adolph Rupp had threatened the life of anybody connected with UK who dared to even acknowledge a coin. “Don’t even touch ’em, boys,” he told the players, sternly.
But one night the coins came raining down and athletic director Bernie Shively had a half-dollar land at his feet and it was killing him. Eventually he eased down to grab it, only to look up and see that Rupp had seen him.
Rupp said to him, “Well, Shive, I see they met your price.”
No coins on the court tonight. But the Cats will need to have a hot hand. More to come . . .