VAUGHT: Brooks appreciates patience

BIRMINGHAM -- When Rich Brooks had a chance to praise the Kentucky officials who resisted the urge to fire him midway of the 2006 season, he quickly took advantage at the SEC Media Days.

A SEC writer asked Brook how important it was to have been shown the patience he was by UK officials considering how quick some administrators are to make changes. President Lee Todd and athletics director Mitch Barnhart must have loved his reply.

"Well, there's no question that the patience level in society, let alone college football, is at a premium right now. There's not a lot of patience in the world today. I feel very, very fortunate to have been given the chance," Brooks said. "I think every situation's different, okay? You have to have people making the decision on whether change is good or change needs to wait to see if it can be good. You have to have knowledge to be able to make those decisions.

"Often times those decisions are made sometimes when they shouldn't be made: when you're on the cusp of having things go the right way. But you have to have some indication that that's happening.

"I think that the good news is, is that we improved the talent level to where even the untrained eye could tell that we had improved, even though we hadn't been able to beat anybody and hadn't been able to win enough games to satisfy anybody.

"Look how dramatically it did turn in 2006, from what it was in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Somebody had the intelligence and guts to weather the storm and allow this thing to move forward." However, what I liked is that Brooks didn't stop there and rest on the laurels of three straight winning seasons and bowl games. Instead, he set the standard higher for himself and his team for all to hear.

"Now we need to climb the ladder. This is not good enough. Going to bowl games and winning them isn't good enough. We need to compete for the SEC championship," Brooks said.

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