Mark Stoops: 'I can handle criticism, but the negativity doesn't help anybody'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday September 27, 2016


Mark Stoops faces some tough calls on his radio show, but they came after an SEC victory this time, and Stoops didn’t appreciate the negativity.

Last November, Stoops let a caller rip him and said he could take it as a big boy. On Monday, a few callers questioned the staff and player development. When a positive caller ripped a negative caller, Stoops said the negativity isn’t helping.

“We accept our responsibility and we need everybody,” Stoops said. “We need everybody that says they’re in the Big Blue Nation to pull behind this team and the coaching staff and pull in the right direction.

We can’t have fragmenting and we can’t have all the negativity that goes on. Criticism, I’m a big boy. I can handle criticism very easily. It goes with the territory and I never take offense to it, but some of the things that goes on it just fragments a program. The negativity doesn’t help anybody.”

One caller asked for betting advice and noted that Alabama is a 35-point favorite this weekend. Stoops joked by saying it was trap trying to get him to answer. 

Then one caller told Stoops he was a fine coach, but said he wanted Tommy Tuberville to come to Kentucky. Stoops handled it in stride.

“Thanks Benny,” he said, laughing. “Get on those message boards. Get on the Twitter. There’s a lot of people out there that have got a lot of opinions.”

Reminder: This happened after a win over South Carolina. Sure, the outcome against Alabama this weekend likely won’t be good, but it’s an example of the pressure Stoops is under at 2-2.

“What am I going to do when I lose?” Stoops said at the end of the show. “This is after a victory. Like I said earlier, in all seriousness at some point the great fans that we have we’ve got to get everybody on the same page. We’ve got to get positive. You don’t even need to throw criticism, I’ll run myself over with a bus when we don’t play well and fully admit it, but we’ve got to get people on the same page and you’ve got to get positive.

“This has been going on for our history a little bit, right? So we’ve got to change it. We’ve got to have everybody on the same page, pulling in the same direction. And we’re going to do this. I’m not discouraged one bit. We’re going to keep on plugging.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.