Kentucky senior wide receiver Dicky Lyons, Jr. continued to show why he’s an all-time favorite of the media. Lyons, in addition to being entertaining, has always been extremely cooperative with reporters. However, Lyons had every reason to want to take a pass on UK’s post-game press conference after Saturday’s 24-17 loss to South Carolina. Not only was it a bitter loss that saw Lyons and the Kentucky offense struggle, but Lyons also suffered a knee injury that may put the rest of his college career in jeopardy. Everybody would have understood if Lyons skipped the interview session, yet Lyons hobbled into Wildcat Den on crutches afterwards and patiently answered every question thrown his way.
That brings us to Derrick Locke. The sophomore tailback got plenty of attention last week for his comments about the offense’s lack of commitment to the running game during Monday’s press luncheon. Locke’s comments were unsolicited (no, he wasn’t ‘baited’ by reporters), and he wasn’t misquoted or misrepresented in any articles that discussed the situation.
Following UK’s practice three days later, Locke had to be coerced into talking with reporters, and he gave short, terse answers when he did.
Apparently Locke’s comments didn’t go over too well with UK Coach Rich Brooks, but they couldn’t have landed him in the doghouse too much as he was the focal point of the offense in the South Carolina game. He carried 15 times for 51 yards and caught eight passes for 57 yards. UK’s other two tailbacks, Tony Dixon and Alfonso Smith, combined for just three carries.
Yet following the South Carolina game, Locke skipped out on the post-game press conference despite being requested by several media outlets.
In the past, Locke has always been a good interview. He’s engaging, he’s funny, and he’ll give you good stuff. I’ll always remember his hilarious quotes when discussing the debate of who’s faster between him and Alfonso Smith. But how you handle yourself during adversity speaks just as much or more than how you handle yourself during prosperity.
Once again, I’ll go back to Lyons. Back in 2006, Lyons and Jeremy Jarmon were made off-limits to the media and disciplined by Brooks after they made derogatory comments about upcoming opponent Mississippi State during the Monday press conference. Once Lyons and Jarmon’s media ban was lifted, however, both players were professional and never blamed the media for the incident.
Maybe Dicky can give certain players some media training while he rehabs from his knee injury.