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What Did Satterfield Say

Photo by Victoria Graff


Would seem there was no way to have a controversy after Kentucky pounded Louisville 45-13 Saturday, it’s second straight lopsided win over the Cardinals, but apparently I was wrong.

Kentucky ran at will as Louisville had no answers for Lynn Bowden or Kentucky’s explosive running plays. Yet after the game it appeared Louisville coach Scott Satterfield was complaining to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops about some Cats giving the “L’s down” signal during the game and right before it ended.

Stoops wouldn’t elaborate on what was said.

“He’s a good man and a good coach. You could tell I thought both teams were very — for a rivalry game, emotions are always high. I think both teams were very disciplined. His team certainly was and they are certainly very well-coached,” Stoops said. “I’d like to believe ours is, as well.”

Pause. Kentucky is very well coached. To win seven games after  basically being forced to a run only offense at midseason is remarkable and to rush for over 400 yards in each of the last three games is something no Kentucky team had every done.

Now back to the L’s down complaint.

“We respect them. It’s a healthy rivalry,” Stops said. “You know why because I say it in here and I always say it to our team. You have about every seven days to be humbled in this business, so don’t go around beating your chest and getting too far out and ahead of yourself. Just continue to stay with the things that gave you some success. Continue to learn and get better.

“So we’ll do that. I don’t know, at the end it got weird because they called a timeout and we got a sack and there’s a fumble and ruckus and all that. But our team was very respectful all day. I don’t know if an L’s down is going to offend them. There’s going to be a lot worse in this rivalry over time.”

Say amen to that. Go to an intense high school football rivalry and see if what happens there would make L’s down look tame. This is a big-time college football rivalry in all sports  and if that is the worst thing the winning team might do, then so be it.

I remember Kentucky basketball players Keldon Johnson, Tyler Herro, P.J. Washington, Ashton Hagans and Nick Richards putting the L’s down after last year’s win over the Cards. Go back to UK’s 2016 basketball recruiting class of De’Aaron Fox, Sacha Killeya-Jones, Bam Adebayo and Malik Monk posing for a photo with the L’s down at the McDonald’s All-American Game that resulted in a threat against Killeya-Jones on social media from a fan most assumed was a Cardinal fan.

After UK’s win Saturday, one Louisville sports talk radio show host posted this on Twitter: “The UK players who refuse to mention U of L by name certainly spend a lot of time learning to manipulate their hands in a ‘L’s down sign’ .. truly classless. Pretend you know how to win.”

My advice to those upset over the L’s down would be to learn how to lose. It’s a game and college players are going to have some fun and if the Cards had won, the L’s would have been showing for them and nothing wrong with that.

Larry Vaught
Larry Vaught is a seven-time winner of the Kentucky Sportswriter of the Year award and has covered University of Kentucky sports since 1975. Larry now has a syndicated UK sports column appearing in 34 newspapers across the state as well as, and Larry also joins Mark Buerger and Anthony White on WLAP Sunday Morning Sports each week in Lexington as well as appearing each Tuesday with Tom Leach on The Leach Report.

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