Former Kentucky agriculture commissioner and University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer was accused of misusing state funds and abusing his position in a federal indictment unsealed Monday.For those who don't remember Richie Farmer, he was part of the senior class of 1992 at UK, when they were coming off of a two year ban from the postseason because of Eddie Sutton's recruiting violations:
The indictment charges him with using his state position from 2004 to 2011 to obtain thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts, hotel rooms, clothing and computers. It also alleges he hired friends who did little or no work for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
“Throughout his tenure, Farmer wrongfully used public funds and KDA resources to obtain goods and services for himself and his family,” the 13-page indictment said.
Farmer, 43, plans to plead not guilty when he is arraigned April 30, attorney J. Guthrie True said. He is charged with four federal felony counts of misappropriating state funds and one count of soliciting goods. The counts carry a maximum possible sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine....
Farmer, a homegrown athlete from impoverished Clay County, remains one of the biggest names for fans of one of the country’s most successful college basketball programs. He was a shooting guard for the University of Kentucky’s Wildcats basketball team from 1988 to 1992, a team known as “The Unforgettables.”
His jersey hangs in the rafters of Rupp Arena alongside those of Dan Issel, Pat Riley, Kenny Walker and Sam Bowie.
The 1991–92 Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team represented the University of Kentucky in NCAA competition in the 1991–92 season. Coached by Rick Pitino, the Wildcats were, then as now, a member of the Southeastern Conference and played their home games at Rupp Arena.Now that the Republican party is so dominant in many rural areas, it has become a cesspool of corruption. My own county has been finding out how dirty the party is. Looks like Richie Farmer might be doing some hard time. Back in high school, we called one of my classmates Richie Farmer because he had a similar moustache. I think it grew out of a basketball game when an opposing player came out of the game and told the guy coming in that he had to cover Richie Farmer.
This season's team is one of the most fondly remembered in UK's long basketball history. The Wildcats were coming off a two-year postseason ban due to major recruiting violations committed during the tenure of Pitino's predecessor Eddie Sutton, although the NCAA found Sutton was not personally liable. The violations mainly centered around alleged cheating by former player Eric Manuel on the ACT college entrance exam and cash payments to the guardian of another former player, Chris Mills.
The team's four seniors, three of whom were Kentucky natives, had remained loyal to the program throughout its probation, and would enter Kentucky basketball history as "The Unforgettables". They were:
Although the seniors were the heart and soul of the team, its biggest star was sophomore Jamal Mashburn, who would go on to become a consensus first-team All-American the following season and have a successful 12-year NBA career; he is now an NBA analyst for ESPN.
- Richie Farmer, a 6'0"/1.83 m shooting guard from Manchester, a small town in the state's eastern coal fields. (He served as the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture from 2004-2012 and was the Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in 2011.)
- Deron Feldhaus, a 6'7"/2.01 m forward from Maysville, a small Ohio River town in the Bluegrass region, about an hour's drive upriver from Cincinnati.
- John Pelphrey, a 6'8"/2.03 m forward from another eastern coal town, Paintsville. (Most recently the head coach at Arkansas.)
- Sean Woods, the only non-Kentuckian, a 6'2"/1.88 m point guard from Indianapolis. (Now the head coach at Morehead State.)
The Wildcats' run in the NCAA Tournament would end in a regional final against Duke that is often cited as the greatest college game ever played. The heavily favored Blue Devils survived an overtime thriller on Christian Laettner's last-second shot at the buzzer.
The legacy of "The Unforgettables" at UK was great enough that the UK program decided to retire their jerseys (but not their numbers) almost immediately after that game. While jersey retirement is not uncommon, it is rare for a school to bestow this honor so soon after a player's career ends.
Oh, and this is how they exited the tournament ( I will agree with UK fans that Christian Laettner is a scumbag):
I was in the Edison Hotel off Times Square watching that shot. We were on a senior class trip to the Big Apple.