Mullen lends a helping hand to fans

This is one of those almost too good to be true stories that should bring a smile to every Big Blue fan.

This is one of those almost too good to be true stories that should bring a smile to every Big Blue fan.

The story starts with Jan Pfeffer at the UK Ohio Convention back in July. I've met her several times and know what a passion she has for Kentucky basketball. That's what led her to start organizing several trips each year to take fans to UK basketball and football games. But she had a dilemma. This season she's taking group to the Maui Classic. However, she couldn't get tickets.

During the UK Ohio Convention, she made a plea to Rob Mullens, Kentucky's deputy director of athletics, for help securing tickets to the games. Mullens was at the annual gathering of UK fans to promote Kentucky's overall athletics program, but he patiently listened to her problem.

Guess what? Pfeffer recently got a call from Mullens with great news. He had managed to arrange for her group to get tickets to the first two rounds of the Maui Classic.

"That really says a lot about him," she said when she called to tell me the news and publicly thank Mullens. "He did something he didn't have to do. He went out of his way to help my group. I am just glad he took the time to listen and then took the time and trouble to do something about it.

"Who would have thought he would have even remembered talking to me in July? I'm a nobody. Our group doesn't donate a bunch of money to UK. We are just ordinary UK fans. It's amazing he took the time to do what he did for us." But what about the final round? What if UK is in the championship game?

"We were going any way with no tickets and hoping for the best. Now we have tickets for the first two games thanks to Rob Mullens," Pfeffer said. "We'll just trust that things work out for the last game.

"I've never been more satisfied with what someone has done for me than what Rob did. I think about all the suspicious stories we hear about UK's administrators and what they do or don't do. I certainly think differently about them all now. They really do care."

Remember, this feel-good story came about because Mullens not only took the time to spend a day with UK fans in Middletown, Ohio, in July, but he also took the time to listen to what one passionate fan asked.

Now there's a happy group of Big Blue fans even more excited about going to Maui in a few weeks and my guess is no matter how UK does in the tournament, this group's MVP will be Rob Mullens for a long, long time.

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