Sports

Sports
12:53 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

WKU Drops Parking Fees For Popular Tailgating Areas

2013 WKU Tailgating Map
Credit WKU Athletics

It will cost less to tailgate this year at WKU football games.

The university’s athletic department has announced that several parking lots that in previous years carried a $20 parking fee, will now be free on a first-come first-serve basis. 

Those areas include McLean Hall, "The Valley", Bates Runner Hall and the Service Supply Building lawn.

WKU offers 30 tailgating areas within a half-mile of Houchens Industries- L.T. Smith Stadium. Tailgate areas open at 8 a.m. on Saturday game days The Hilltoppers’ home-opener is September 21st against the Morgan State Bears. 

Sports
4:54 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Report: WKU Athletic Trainer Fired After Clashing with Petrino

Bobby Petrino is the first-year head coach of WKU football.
Credit WKU Athletics

An online article highlights clashes between WKU football coach Bobby Petrino and a medical trainer who was fired in the spring.

The Chronicle of Higher Education story about friction between coaches and athletic trainers singled out the relationship between Petrino and former WKU associate athletic trainer Danny Cobble. The Chronicle’s story says Petrino questioned Cobble’s medical abilities, grew impatient with return-to-play times for players, and pushed back against decisions made by physicians.

Cobble says he was fired in the spring after being at WKU since 2009. When asked by the Courier-Journal about the article, A WKU athletics spokesman said neither coach Petrino or WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart would comment.

The Chronicle story spotlighted an incident in which Cobble says a doctor ordered surgery for an unidentified WKU football player. Cobble says Petrino wanted to treat the player with a cortisone shot instead. The player eventually had surgery.

The Chronicle surveyed hundreds of athletic trainers and staff for their story. Of the 101 who responded, 53 said they felt pressure from football coaches to get players back on the field faster than the trainers felt was medically prudent.

You can read the full article from The Chronicle of Higher Education here.

Sports
10:21 pm
Sat August 31, 2013

WKU Opens Season with Convincing Win Over Kentucky in Nashville

Keshawn Simpson ran for a pair of 3-yard touchdowns and Antonio Andrews added his own 3-yard score as Western Kentucky beat Kentucky 35-26 Saturday night making coach Bobby Petrino a winner in his debut.

The Hilltoppers also beat their in-state rival for a second straight year, though they didn't need overtime like they did last year in this win over the Southeastern Conference program. They outgained Kentucky 487-419 in total offense and held the ball for 35 minutes.

The loss ruined Kentucky coach Mark Stoops' debut. Coordinator Neal Brown's Air Raid offense struggled against a Western Kentucky defense returning seven starters from a bowl team that went 7-6 last season in the Sun Belt Conference.

Brandon Doughty was 27 of 34 for 271 yards and a TD, numbers that would have been better except for at least four drops including a would-be touchdown.

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Sports
3:44 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

WKU Looks to Make it Two in a Row Against UK Saturday

WKU opens its 2013 football season Saturday vs. Kentucky at LP Field in Nashville.

WKU kicks off its 2013 football season Saturday night against Kentucky.

While the contest is technically a home game for WKU, it's being played at LP Field in Nashville. The game marks the debut for both WKU coach Bobby Petrino and UK head coach Mark Stoops.

Petrino says season-openers are always a major challenge for the coaching staff.

"We have to do a good job on the sidelines making sure we're coaching our guys in between series, and really understanding what Kentucky is trying to do to us, and making sure our players stay into it mentally," said Petrino.

Petrino has 75 career wins as a head coach, and his teams have made seven bowl appearances. The UK game marks Petrino's return to coaching following his 2012 firing as head coach of Arkansas. Petrino was let go by the SEC school after he lied to Arkansas officials about a motorcycle accident involving his mistress.

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Sports
7:14 am
Fri August 23, 2013

KHSAA Commissioner Says He Likes Having High School Football Finals at WKU

WKU's Houchens Industries/L.T. Smith Stadium
Credit Kevin Willis

The leader of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association says he’s pleased with the job WKU has done in hosting the state football finals. That might quiet any talk about the finals moving from Bowling Green to Louisville.

WKU has hosted the state high school football finals since 2009, and is under contract to remain host through 2014. Before that, the city of Louisville hosted the events stretching back to 1979.

In a text message to a Courier-Journal sports reporter, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said his group is happy with Bowling Green as the location for the football finals, saying WKU’s L.T. Smith Stadium gives fans and player a more intimate setting than the larger Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Tackett says WKU “appears to maximize all desired factors.”

The U of L Cardinals’ upcoming move to a new athletic conference means the team won’t be playing at home the first weekend in December, the weekend the high school football finals are traditionally held. Because of that availability, some have speculated the KHSAA might consider moving the high school finals back to Louisville.

Sports
8:26 am
Tue August 20, 2013

NCAA Reverses Field, Allows Former Marine to Play this Season at MTSU

A former marine hoping to play college football this season at a Tennessee school is celebrating after receiving good news from the NCAA.

The collegiate sports governing body had initially said Steven Rhodes would have to sit out the upcoming season at MTSU. But the NCAA came under heavy criticism after it said the 24-year-old Rhodes would be penalized because he played in a military recreational football league during his time serving in the U.S. Marines.

Rhodes described the league as similar to an intramural activity, but the NCAA said it counted as an organized league since scores were kept, players wore uniforms, and officials refereed the games.

Upon further review, the NCAA now says it’s decided Rhodes can play this upcoming season at MTSU.

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Sports
1:02 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Former Marine Prevented by NCAA from Playing for Tennessee School this Fall

MTSU's Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, TN.

A former marine hoping to play college football in Tennessee is being told by the NCAA he’ll have to sit out a year. The collegiate sports governing body says the 24-year-old freshman can’t play this upcoming season because of his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012.

Steven Rhodes entered the U.S. Marine Corp after graduating from Antioch High School in Nashville. After serving five years of active duty with the Marines, Rhodes contacted Middle Tennessee State coaches and asked about walking-on to the football ball team as a non-scholarship player.

That’s when the NCAA told Rhodes that his participation in a military-only football league would prevent him from playing immediately. Instead, he was told he would have to sit out the upcoming season.

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Sports
9:14 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Autograph Session is Still a Go at WKU, Despite Controversy Elsewhere

WKU Football Fan Fest, 2012
Credit WKU Athletics

As college football season approaches, student-athletes are having to brush up on the rules regarding autographs and eligibility.

The reverberations of the NCAA’s inquiry into whether Texas A&M quarterback and Hesiman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel signed autographs for memorabilia dealers will be felt in Kentucky this weekend. In Louisville, the athletic department has advised the Cardinals football team not to sign autographs at this weekend’s fan event.

 But that will not be the case at WKU’s Football Fan Fest On Saturday.

“They’ll all be available for autographs throughout the event,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.  

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Sports
11:44 am
Wed August 14, 2013

WKU Football To Face Vanderbilt Beginning in 2015

Credit WKU Athletics

For the first time in school history, a football team from the SEC will visit Bowling Green to take on the Hilltoppers. WKU announced a three-game series with Vanderbilt University on Wednesday. 

The first game will take place in 2015 in Nashville, with the Commodores coming to the WKU Campus in 2016.  

“It’s a great compliment that Vanderbilt wanted to schedule that game with us – two games at their place and one at ours as a part of that three-game series. We're certainly looking forward to that starting in a few years,” said Michael Schroeder, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications at WKU.

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Sports
10:03 am
Mon August 12, 2013

WKU Men's Basketball to Kick Off Season Nov. 12 at Midnight

The WKU men’s basketball team will burn the midnight oil during their season opener. The school announced Monday that the Hilltoppers will take on Wichita State at midnight on November 12, as part of ESPN 2’s Tip-Off Marathon.

ESPN is airing more than a dozen games in over 24 hours of basketball to kick off the new season.

Both WKU and Wichita State are coming off of NCAA tournament appearances, with the Shockers making last season’s Final Four. The Hilltoppers went 20-and-16, and won the Sun Belt Conference tournament.

You can see the 2013-14 WKU men's basketball schedule here.

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