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COLUMN: Taking questions at media day

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By John Herndon

It's nice to know people care.

And one thing I have found out recently is that people really do care about what's going on in Anderson County these days.

Or at least there is a keen interest to this fair little community.

It hit me last Thursday when I journeyed over to Lexington for the Kentucky Wildcat basketball Media Day. It's the statewide media, with outlets from Ashland to Paducah and Covington to Corbin represented. Sometimes, like last week, there are people from the national scene on hand as well. It is one of those rare moments when The Anderson News has pretty much the same access to the Wildcats as the big-time dailies.

And it's also a time that those of us who have developed a friendship through our work get a chance to catch up on things. Last week, some of the people who have my job in other towns were doing quite a bit of catching up on Anderson County.

OK, let's clarify something now. I was not a hot commodity. I just talked with media types I have gotten to know over the years.

But the questions were nearly always the same.

Question number one (or a reasonable facsimile thereof): Who is looking at that quarterback over there?

And the second question (or reasonable variant) most asked of yours truly: Anderson County? How tough is that prosecutor over there?

And, yep, the ones that inquired really, really did want to know. After all, just 365 days before, some of those same guys were tallking to the person that prompted their inquiries.

I was glad to oblige, noting that Anderson County Attorney Bobbi Lewis has a bit more backbone than Jeanine Edwards and that she had a lot of “toughness.”

(Of course, I really wanted to answer, “That's really a bad question,” but thought I would leave that for later.)

OK, OK. I confess that I did not have a throng of reporters around me, a la John Wall.

But I did entertain six inquries about the Anderson quarterback and three about the Anderson County attorney.  Most are just hoping that  proceedings surrounding Billy Gillispie's DUI charge are handled fairly. Those I have talked with ever since the arrest was made public seem both surprised and skeptical at Lewis' track record.

Most of all, I am finding that people just want fairness, and, yes, some toughness.

If Gillispie is innocent, hopefully it closes the door on a sad saga and all will move on. If he's guilty, punish and move on.

Don't let him beat the system

There are many mixed feelings about Gillispie's settlement with UK, announced last week. On the one hand, there are those that are just glad to see the university and Gillispie agree on the settlement. Shake hands, move on and don't look back.

But there are many that feel Gillispie beat the system when he settled for nearly $3 million.

The guy might have been a fantastic basketball coach – he was at his two stops before UK – but the shenanigans at UK, from the Edwards interview to the now-confirmed locker room behavior that sent Josh Harrelson to a bathroom stall at halftime, had become an embarrassment.

Whether or not UK had a contract, there was sufficient cause for his termination.

But that is actually different than what has been going on locally.

Whether he is guilty of  the DUI charges against him in Anderson County, all people ask for is fairness and that he will be treated as any other person.

And while it really was kind of humorous to be asked about the county attorney at UK Media Day, it is understandable.

A lot of eyes really are on Anderson County right now.

E-mail John Herndon at jpherndon@theandersonnews.com.