Interview with Lewis W. Cochran, December 17, 1985

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Lewis W. "Bud" Cochran discusses the University of Kentucky during President Otis A. Singletary's administration, when Fran Curci was named as UK's football coach. He recalls that Curci arrived around 1972, and observed that football recruiting was "rather difficult" at that time, since the state did not produce enough high school players that could "play competitively" in the conference. Cochran remembers that Curci, up against such strong competition, brought in strong athletic talent with "severe shortcomings in other areas", but there were also "considerable exceptions" to this. He remembers that no player ever had "sufficient academic problems" that ever came to his attention, and describes the athletes' academic program, which was supervised by an assistant of Curci's. He recalls he spoke with the team before practice about academic performance requirements and sometimes had lunch with them, and that the team's academic responsibilities were monitored.

Cochran discusses problems with the activities of the "boosters", and he felt it was "indecent" the way some of the athletes were exploited. He remembers that it was a difficult time for Singletary when Curci was fired, since they were friends. Former Governor A. B. "Happy" Chandler voted to keep Curci. Cochran emphasizes that the "effects of the intercollegiate athletic programs on the academic programs is damn near zero all the time". He talks about his perception of the purpose of athletic programs, which is public entertainment, "when they win". He refers to status within the conference, where schools become linked academically with the schools they are linked to athletically, and that other conferences do the same thing. He discusses at length the economic impact of athletics. Cochran moves on to talk at length about the 1952 basketball scandal, which Cochran considers "the most serious" of all the things to happen in athletics.

Cochran discusses the issue of Adolph Rupp's retirement, his refusal to retire at the age set by the retirement policy, and the problems created as a result of this. Cochran recalls little interaction with Joe B. Hall. He discusses the pros and cons of the moving the men's basketball games to Rupp Arena. He talks about the Joe B. Hall "Wildcat Lodge", built on campus for the men's basketball team, the push for a football dorm, and NCAA sanctions regarding this. Cochran discusses the process of naming university buildings. He talks about Cliff Hagan, a former UK Athletic Director, and the responsibilities of this position. He mentions the positive effects of Toyota Manufacturing coming to Kentucky and the imagery this helped create for Kentucky. Cochran emphasizes the need for the governor and the legislature to support higher education.

Interview Accession

1985oh255_af281

Interviewee Name

Lewis W. Cochran

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1985-12-17

Interview Keyword

Bud Cochran

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Restriction

No Restrictions

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

Add this interview to your cart in order to begin the process of requesting access to a copy of and/or permission to reproduce interview(s). 


Cochran, Lewis W. Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 17 Dec. 1985. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Cochran, L.W. (1985, December 17). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Cochran, Lewis W., interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. December 17, 1985, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.

Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7v9s1km188