VAUGHT: Dampier and Kron on "Glory Road"

Two of Rupp's Runts spoke to Larry Vaught about the movie, "Glory Road." Larry Vaught speaks to Tommy Kron and Louie Dampier.

Those players who were part of Kentucky's magical 1965-66 season really have a remarkable attitude. "Rupp's Runts" are still one of Kentucky's most beloved teams even though they lost in the historic 1966 national title game to Texas Western.

It would be easy for those players to be bitter, or at least a little bit jealous, that their legacy is now being questioned by the release of the movie, "Glory Road," that tells the story of the all-black Texas Western team beating favored Kentucky, an all-white team, in the final.

But they are fine with the movie, and national coverage of the movie, even though few note that Texas Western was ranked No. 3 going into the game. Sure, Kentucky was No. 1 at the time. But those of us old enough to have followed that team remember going into the season, there were a lot of questions -- and doubt -- about whether the unranked Wildcats would even make the NCAA Tournament.

"I liked the movie. I had heard they were not going to slam coach (Adolph) Rupp as a racist, and I'm happy that was the case," said Kron. "I knew he was not (a racist). A whole lot of people in the national press do not do their homework on this. Coach Rupp came off more arrogant than anything. But that was probably a fair appraisal, and it was a good sports movie."

Guard Louie Dampier says Rupp was a great coach, and should be portrayed that way. But could Rupp adapt to today's game? "Being the disciplinarian coach Rupp was and the rules he had, he might have a difficult time getting guys to do what we did," Dampier laughed and said. "There were some players he ran off. He knew how he wanted it done. But he was a great coach and man."

Kron said he has no doubts that Rupp is not that different from the great coaches winning NCAA championships today. He also will always believe that Rupp's sometimes racist portrayal is more from the time period he coached than from the coach's beliefs.

"Coach Rupp would have adjusted fine to society in general today just like our parents would have. He was a tough man, but he was a fair man. To me, he came off that way in the movie, and that's all I was hoping," Kron said.

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