Paying the price
The Southeastern Conference issued a $50,000 fine to Kentucky for a sportsmanship policy violation after fans stormed the field following Saturday's win over Tennessee, according to a release from the league office.
It's the fifth time Kentucky has been fined since 2006 for fans entering the "competition area" of a contest for a total of $155,000. Kentucky's first offense came when fans tore down the goalposts after a 24-20 win on Nov. 4, 2006 against Georgia.
The policy states that the first violation of such an offense will result in a $5,000 fine. The second offense, in this case, Kentucky's 40-34 win over Louisville on Sept. 15, 2007, results in a $25,000 fine. The third offense, Kentucky's 43-37 win over LSU on Oct. 13, 2007, resulted in a $50,000 fine.
The Wildcats then went three years without a violation of the policy, meaning the next offense would be considered as their second offense. That came as Kentucky's 31-28 win over South Carolina on Oct. 16, 2010, just three days after the required three years had passed. That resulted in a $25,000 fine.
The policy went into effect on Dec. 1, 2004 and was agreed upon by all 12 SEC institutions. SEC officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Here's a breakdown of what that $50,000 means:
83.5 cents for each of the fans at the game. Attendance was announced at 59,855.
1,087 general admission tickets to a UK football game against an SEC opponent (at $46 per ticket).
10.95 semesters of in-state tuition at the University of Kentucky at the current rate of $4,564 per semester.
628 replica Danny Trevathan black jerseys at Kennedy bookstore ($79.50 including tax).
Pass rush problems
For the second consecutive year, no Kentucky player finished with more than three sacks. Senior linebacker Danny Trevathan led UK with three sacks this year and tied for the lead in 2010 with three, but the Wildcats haven't had a consistent pass rusher since DeQuin Evans had six sacks as a junior in 2009.
Trevathan and defensive tackle Luke McDermott both had three sacks in 2010 while Evans' production fell off following a shoulder injury. He was voted a team captain before his senior year but finished with just 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks last season.
The new hybrid defensive scheme installed by defensive coordinator Rick Minter produced 20 sacks this season, actually a decrease from the 21 sacks in 2010. Junior defensive end/linebacker Ridge Wilson had two sacks on the season, both of which came against South Carolina.
There are reasons for optimism, though. Young defensive tackles Donte Rumph, Mister Cobble and Christian Coleman combined for 85 tackles between them. Rumph and Cobble have two seasons of eligibility remaining, and Coleman was a true freshman.
In 2010, Kentucky's top five defensive tackles combined for 85 tackles. Ricky Lumpkin, Shane McCord, Mark Crawford, Rumph and Cobble made up the defensive tackle rotation that season.
Junior wide receiver La'Rod King will enter his final year with a chance to make a serious impact on Kentucky's career receiving list. He finished the year with 86 career receptions, 1,218 career receiving yards and 13 touchdowns.
He's currently No. 19 on Kentucky's list of receiving yards leader. He could move past Quentin McCord into fifth place all-time with 525 yards next year. McCord has 1,743 career receiving yards, and Dicky Lyons Jr. has 1,752.
It would take 1,121 yards from King next year to move into the top three and surpass Derek Abney, who has 2,339 career yards. Craig Yeast and Keenan Burton are No. 1 and 2 in career receiving yards for the Cats, with 2,899 yards and 2,376 yards, respectively.
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