Kentucky Coach Mark Stoops has opted out of attending the annual Governor’s Cup luncheon in Louisville on Wednesday.
The luncheon, a charity and golf event raising money for Dare to Care, was set up to kickoff the season for both schools.
A UK spokesman said attending the summer event, now that the rivalry game has been permanently moved to the end of the season, “didn’t add up” for Stoops, who still will speak to the Rotary Club and a UK Alumni event in Louisville on Friday.
“Why am I going to invest most of the day … to talk about a game that’s now the last game of the season and more than four months away?” UK’s Tony Neely said was Stoops’ feeling.
UK notified the Governor’s Cup officials of Stoops’ plan “several months ago.”
New Louisville coach Bobby Petrino is still expected to attend the event, but there won’t be the regular news conference.
Kentucky officials said they let the Governor’s Cup officials know well in advance of event that Stoops would not be attending.
The website used to preview and promote the event still says “join Governor Beshear and the head coaches for a day of golf.”
The golf event offers a “feature sponsor” ticket that says for $8,500 you can have “four-player entries paired with a head coach, athletic director or special celebrity” as well as signage at the event and eight tickets to the reception the night before.
Steve Feldman, who is listed as the contact for the Governor’s Cup Classic on its web site, referred questions to Randy Witt, who has not yet responded.
The game between Kentucky and Louisville, which started again in 1994 after a 70-year layoff, has been played as both the first and third game of the season in recent years.
But the Southeastern and Atlantic Coast conferences had requested it be moved to the final game of the season for both teams as part of a rivalry weekend.
This season’s game will be played at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Nov. 29.