Stoops to Kemp: ‘It’s not how we talk’

Kentucky running back Jojo Kemp was doing end zone rolls after practice on Tuesday, but not for punishment, as they usually are, but as a joke with some of the coaches’ kids.

It was Tuesday, which is family meal night at the Nutter Training Center, so Kemp was acting like one of the kids and doing rolls horizontally across the field with a group of them.

The sophomore might be doing a few more on Wednesday after an inflammatory comment to the media.

When the running back from DeLand, Fla., was asked if he knew anyone on Florida’s roster, he mentioned that he had former teammates on it, and then added: “I’m familiar with a lot of those guy. It’s going to be fun walking out with a victory and rubbing it in their faces.”

Turns out his head coach didn’t love the statement so much.

When Mark Stoops was asked about it on the regular Southeastern Conference teleconference, he said he was “furious” and “outraged.”

“Like I told him yesterday, ‘You think they’re gonna hear all that? They’re gonna hear the last five seconds of what you said,’” Stoops recounted. “And I know the great pride of the players in that locker room at Florida.”

As someone who has recruited many of the players on the Gators’ roster, Stoops said he doesn’t imagine they’ll take too kindly to the commentary.

“It’s not very smart to try to challenge their pride before you play them,” Stoops said. “I don’t think that was very smart. It’s not something that I teach. It’s not how we talk.”

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at
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