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Mark Stoops Reflects On His "Pony Up" Comment

Honestly, the most controversial point of conversation that's surrounded Mark Stoops' name during his tenure outside of other head coaching opportunities was his "pony up" comments back in early October. Kentucky has since went 1-4 in the games following, with those comments coming just two days off another loss coming at Georgia, so a losing streak that's been boiling over a while and a comment by the head coach that didn't seem to sit well with a lot of the fanbase.

A reporter asked him during his Monday press conference this week about those comments now that Kentucky is in their last week of the regular season and if he would go back and chang anything he said now that he's had time to think about it.

“I really don’t want to talk (about that), I want to move past that. You have to listen to the whole conversation. Everybody takes a piece of something you say and act like you were making an excuse or anything. Please, listen to the one-minute conversation. That’s at my radio show, it’s a little more laid back, we can just discuss and talk and I was very upfront with the caller. Fans have every right, I never get offended or defensive. I may defend our program or our players or say things that we need. As far as that goes, that was nothing. It was something that I lightheartedly said that that person can do something, that is a way they can do something. Outside of that, I make no excuses. I haven’t for 11 years and I’m not going to start now. I will tell you facts and I will tell you reality, but I am not going to make excuses. I am not going to start now," said Mark Stoops.

I think I lean to agreeing with his overall statement this week on the past situation. I can see how it would upset a lot of the fans who already contribute their share to helping the NIL collective for the football program, but at the same time, what he said in his original comments wasn't wrong in my opinion. To go get the consistent recruiting classes that the Georgia and the Alabama's of the world are getting, Kentucky will need more and more donations to help land those players. I think what set the comment off in the wrong direction is the timing of the comment. Time and place is everything when addressing a hot topic and I just don't think that moment was the right time for it. But, Mark is an honest guy who is often blunt and cuts out the excuses. You have to either take all of that or none of it, and not just some of it when you agree. He stands by his comments which I still feel are true, and he encourages fans to go back and watch the full stream that evening to get some context behind his words, which I think they should to. I was watching the live video that night as I always do, and at that point of the season I might've been the only media member who was watching because no one else had reported on his quote until an hour plus later. In the moment, I felt like he was defending his program and telling an irritating fan off as a coach might seem to do after hearing negative things twenty-four-seven.

You can watch his full Monday press conference below to listen to his reflection statement.

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