By Dr. John Huang
Ralph Hacker, the legendary play-by-play and color analyst for Wildcat Football and Basketball games, made an appearance on the radio show this morning—and he came out swinging.
Ralph was a very close friend of Eddie Sutton, and he made no bones about how he felt the hall of fame coach got the shaft during his time at Kentucky.
“I’m going to put it straight to you—the way I put it to the publisher of the Herald-Leader when he was writing a book,” he told Michael. “I said, ‘Your newspaper without question won a Pulitzer Prize on a false story. You wrote a false story. You all came up with it. You put it the way you wanted to do it—never found any facts to back it up, and you won it. You screwed a guy.’ I looked him in the eye and said, ‘Does that make you feel bad?’”
“It made me distrust newspapers—especially the Lexington Herald-Leader,” Ralph continued. “I don’t think you can find the truth in many of them down there. I know you couldn’t find the truth in the story they published on Eddie Sutton.”
Ralph reminds us that no one ever came forward with the money in the envelope that triggered the investigation that eventually led to Sutton’s resignation. He thinks that Dwane Casey was framed, but Casey subsequently won a lawsuit over that. Nothing was ever proven. It was all FAKE NEWS!
Ralph thinks Eddie was never welcomed back to Lexington because of the false stories reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader. The truth was that Eddie loved the state of Kentucky. He shared many fond memories of his time here. In subsequent conversations, he always asked about friends that he had here or players that played for him at Kentucky. Eddie Sutton didn’t live life with many regrets, but according to Ralph, “that one incident ruined his life…and ruined his family’s life.”
“I’ll remember him as one of the finest people I knew in my life,” Ralph said when asked how he wanted his friend to be remembered. “He was an outstanding human being—a great coach—a man who would do anything for anybody that he was able to do.”
So how does Ralph really feel about our hometown newspaper? He let Michael know right after the show.
“The best thing that would ever happen is if the Lexington Herald-Leader went bankrupt.”
Ralph ended the segment by telling a fabulous story about how Eddie Sutton helped get Bill Clinton re-elected. Check out the entire guest appearance here.