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January 19, 2004

Kentucky Booster Banned For 27 Years

Brian Poe, who runs the University of Kentucky fan website bigbluenation.com, was banned from any involvement (“disassociated”) with UK athletics for 27 years stemming from unapproved contact with potential football recruits.

UK originally banned Poe for two years for inappropriately interviewing high school recruits.  UK compliance director Sandy Bell later found out that Poe was circulating e-mails asking for help in recruiting student-athletes to Kentucky, so the school talked with NCAA officials and added 25 years. The term "disassociation" means that Poe cannot purchase season tickets, and that no coaches, players, staff members or potential recruits can have contact with him.

The NCAA says that fan websites are not considered media outlets, and that the school might be accountable when a representative of one of those sites contacts a recruit.

UK is serving a three-year probation for recruiting violations committed during the Hal Mumme regime, which, Poe contends, is one reason the penalty was so extreme. "It’s exceedingly long, but with (Kentucky) being on probation, they probably felt they had to make a statement," Poe said.  Poe joins a list of five other people who have been disassociated (for periods ranging from three to five years) from UK athletics. Four of them came during the recent recruiting scandal.

Bell said Lexington horseman Tom Gentry received a lifetime ban from NCAA-related problems in the 70s.  (Lexington Herald-Leader  1-14-04)