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Interview with Roy Holsclaw, October 11, 2018

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

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00:00:00 - Fictional high school team, the Lothair Lizards

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Partial Transcript: Alright, Dr. Holsclaw, if you would, just, uh, first off state your name so we--

Segment Synopsis: Roy Holsclaw is introduced. He talks about driving Coach Joe B. Hall and his coaching staff on a recruiting trip, during which the coaches began bragging about their high school sports careers. He talks about making up a fictional story about his high school sports team, the Lothair Lizards.

Keywords: 1960s; Contributions; Dentistry; Dick Parsons; Driving; Fight songs; Hazard (Ky.); High schools; Humor; Illinois; Joe B. Hall; Lothair (Ky.); Lothair Lizards; Lothair, Kentucky; Recruitment; Stories

Subjects: Basketball; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball--Coaching; Coaches (Athletics); Coaching (Athletics).; College athletes--Recruiting; College choice; College sports--Scouting; Hall, Joe B. (Joe Beasman); School sports.; Sports; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

00:04:11 - High school

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Partial Transcript: In reality though you grew up, uh, in the Hazard area, right?

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about his actual high school athletics career at Hazard High School. He talks about the quality of education he received, and how he decided he wanted to be a dentist.

Keywords: Baseball; Basketball; Careers; Courses; Curriculum; Dentistry; Eastern Kentucky University; English teachers; Football; Future; Golf; Hazard (Ky.); Hazard High School; Multiple sports; Preparation; Teachers; Teeth; Track; University of Louisville

Subjects: Education, Higher; Education--Kentucky; Recreation; School sports.; Schools; Sports; Sports for children.

00:07:26 - Becoming the dentist for University of Kentucky athletics

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Partial Transcript: So then how, after graduating and becoming a dentist, did you get involved with UK sports?

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about how he became a member of the medical-dental staff for University of Kentucky athletics in 1959. He talks about his involvement in recommending mouth protection for football players.

Keywords: 1959-1983; Athletes; Bernie Shively; Bluegrass Dental Society; Deals; Married; Medical dental staff; Mouth guards; Mouth protectors; Practices; Season tickets; Sports; Wife

Subjects: Basketball fans; Dentistry.; Dentists; Employment--Kentucky; Football fans.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football

00:10:23 - Not missing a UK home game since 1958

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Partial Transcript: So, so, safe to say that you were a fan of Kentucky sports--

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about being a UK fan and how he has not missed a home UK football game since 1958, and has only missed two basketball games in that time.

Keywords: 1958; Daughters; Entertainment; Home games; Parents; Wife

Subjects: Basketball fans; Football fans.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football

00:12:44 - Origins of Rupp Arena--Feasibility study

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Partial Transcript: Le--let's, uh, really start from the beginning.

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about how he and a friend began the process of planning a new UK basketball arena. He talks about the decision to use the arena to honor Coach Adolph Rupp, who was being forced to retire. He talks about the original planning committee, called the Citizens Rupp Arena Committee of Kentucky (CRACK), later renamed the Alley Cats. He talks about how they also became involved in planning a new football stadium, the original proposed locations for the arenas, and some of the people who assisted the committee with their expertise.

Keywords: 1967; Adolph Rupp; Alley Cats; Attitudes; Brigham Young University (BYU); Charlie Bradshaw; Citizens Rupp Arena Committee of Kentucky (CRACK); Coldstream Farm; Data; Distance; Dr. Otis Singletary; Elbert Ray; Facilities; Feasibility studies; Feasibility study; Football arenas; Honors; Information; John Ray; Land; Locations; Madison Square Garden; Mandatory retirement; Memorial Coliseum; Napkins; National Football League (NFL); Plans; Research; Retail business space; Rupp Arena; Sold out; Students; Tommy Bell; YMCA

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Football fans.; Football stadiums; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football

00:22:24 - Origins of Rupp Arena--Meeting with Governor Louie Nunn

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Partial Transcript: So then Otis Singletary w--is president, at that time, of the university.

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about a meeting with Governor Louie Nunn attended by the arena committee, UK president Otis Singletary, and others. Although the committee recommended building both arenas simultaneously, side-by-side, Dr. Singletary only asked Governor Nunn to build the football stadium. Holsclaw talks about why he thinks Singletary made this decision. He talks about the committee's reaction to this plan and their creation of an alternative plan: to build the basketball arena downtown.

Keywords: 1970; Alternate plans; Athletic programs; Bids; Bob Stevens; College campuses; Committees; Costs; County judges; Dr. Otis Singletary; Facilities; Feasibility studies; Feasibility study; Football arenas; Foster Pettit; Fred Watts; Governor Louie B. Nunn; Larry Forgy; Locations; Louisiana State University (LSU); Meetings; Newspapers; Nunn Athletic Complex; Plans; Press conferences; Requests; Side-by-side; Spokesman; Support; University of Texas

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Football fans.; Football stadiums; Kentucky--Politics and government; Kentucky. Governor (1967-1971 : Nunn); Nunn, Louie B., 1924-2004; Politicians--Kentucky; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball; University of Kentucky--Football

00:32:29 - Origins of Rupp Arena--Alternate plan to locate the arena downtown

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Partial Transcript: So, so then your exit plan says, "Okay, look into building an arena downtown."

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about continuing with the alternate plan to build the basketball arena in downtown Lexington. He talks about how the urban renewal law helped to get the arena built. He talks about their plan to create not only an arena, but a full package including a hotel, convention center, and more.

Keywords: Alternate plans; Bob Stevens; Commitments; Convention centers; Development; Downtown; Dr. Otis Singletary; Federal government; Foster Pettit; Hotels; Land; Laws; Lexington (Ky.); Locations; Louisville (Ky.); Louisville Fairgrounds; Meetings; Naysayers; Opera houses; Parking lots; Plans; Profits; Property; Resistance; Revenue; Urban renewal

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

00:37:25 - Origins of Rupp Arena--Capacity

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Partial Transcript: So--and, and you know, as you look back at it, I mean basically the Coliseum was twelve, fourteen thousand fans, I think could hold--

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about why the capacity for Rupp Arena changed during the planning stage, partly due to Coach Adolph Rupp being forced to retire.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Architects; Bench seats; Capacity; Dr. Otis Singletary; Forced retirement; Meetings; Memorial Coliseum; Seating

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Recreation; Rupp, Adolph, 1901-1977; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

00:40:09 - Origins of Rupp Arena--Support for the plan

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Partial Transcript: Um, so, a, again I think the thing that stands out, everybody telling you...

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about some of the committee members who made the construction of Rupp Arena possible. He talks about garnering support for the plan from fans and financial backers.

Keywords: Bob Stevens; Bond grades; Bond ratings; Bonds; Committees; Community; Demand; Difficulty; Expertise; Foster Pettit; Garvis Kinkead; Lexington (Ky.); Moody's; Season tickets; Support; Surveys; W.T. Young

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

00:44:46 - Origins of Rupp Arena--Bids from contractors / The effect of Rupp Arena on Lexington

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Partial Transcript: Um, I, I heard Jim Host once talk about the--when you actually were picking the architectural firm...

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about two of the three contractors backing out before making bids. He talks about bluffing to the third contractor to make a deal. He talks about how each decision that was made went in their favor, allowing Rupp Arena to successfully be built. He talks about the effect of having Rupp Arena in downtown Lexington. He talks about the need for a larger UK basketball arena, since the team's popularity had outgrown Memorial Coliseum.

Keywords: Adolph Rupp; Architectural firms; Arts; Bids; Bluffing; College campuses; Committees; Contractors; Conventions; Decisions; Distance; Domino effect; Downtown; Dr. Otis Singletary; Effects; Facilities; Jim Host; Kentucky high school basketball tournaments; Lexington (Ky.); Locations; Memorial Coliseum; Modern; Naysayers; Outgrown; Packages; Percentages; Plans; Popularity; Recognition; Rent; Serendipity; State of the art; Support; University of Alabama

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

00:51:39 - Professional basketball / Reactions to the opening of Rupp Arena / Current renovations to Rupp Arena

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Partial Transcript: You know, the one thing too, uh, down the road, Louisville, the Kentucky Colonels were still playing...

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about the possibility of a professional basketball team at Rupp Arena. He talks about the UK fans' negative reactions to the orange seats at the arena when it opened. He talks about the current need for renovations at Rupp Arena.

Keywords: Architectural firms; Contracts; Costs; Facilities; Lexington (Ky.); Louisville Colonels; Modern; Opening; Orange seats; Packages; Professional basketball; Reactions; Renovations; Unique

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

00:54:18 - Taking pride in the construction of Rupp Arena

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Partial Transcript: You talked about you've only missed two games since the fifties, uh, in basketball.

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about being proud to have been a part of the development of Rupp Arena.

Keywords: Children; Committees; Effects; Environment; Impact; Legacies; Legacy; Life changing; Louisville (Ky.); Louisville Fairgrounds; Pride; Sacrifice; Serendipity; University of Alabama

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

00:56:53 - Support from UK fans

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Partial Transcript: I, if--say that Rupp was not built when it was, say the Cats were still playing in the Coliseum...

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks more about the support of UK fans and tells a story demonstrating their devotion to the team.

Keywords: Administration; Autographs; Basketballs; Crowds; Decisions; Joe B. Hall; Kyle Macy; Meant to be; Miracles; Popularity; Practices; Rick Robey; Scrimmages; Serendipity; Support; Tickets

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball arenas; Basketball fans; College facilities.; Recreation; Spectators.; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

01:02:24 - Wildcat Slush

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Partial Transcript: I want to change, uh, subject matter now, uh, and go from Rupp Arena to Wildcat Slush.

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about the creation of Wildcat Slush in response to the shooting slump Coach Joe B. Hall noticed in his players every winter. He talks about their attempts to market the drink and make it a publicly available product.

Keywords: Board of directors; Castle & Cook; Dr. Hobbs; JIF peanut butter; Joe B. Hall; Marketing; National championships; Perspiration; Postgame radio call-in shows; Potassium deficiencies; Potassium deficiency; Practices; Shooting slumps; W.T. Young; Wildcat Slush

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players--Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

01:10:11 - Relationship with Dr. Otis Singletary

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Partial Transcript: Well, Dr. Holsclaw I want to thank you for your time.

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about his relationship with Dr. Otis Singletary throughout the years.

Keywords: Administrators; Athletes; Decisions; Dr. Otis Singletary; Enemies; Honors; Joe B. Hall; Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge; Kyle Macy; Louie B. Nunn; Opportunities; Opportunity; Rupp Arena; Support; Travel; Trips; U.S.S. Kentucky nuclear submarine; USS Kentucky (SSBN-737)

Subjects: College administrators; College facilities.; College presidents; Universities and colleges--Administration.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball

01:14:20 - Origins of Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge

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Partial Transcript: Le, let me ask you s--and you brought this up--since we've got you here.

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about his involvement in the planning of the Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge. He talks about its design, cost, and name. He talks about the schools that influenced its design.

Keywords: Athletic dorms; Bear Bryant; Coal furnaces; Coal industry; Committees; Contributors; Control; Costs; Decisions; Designs; Donations; Donors; Dormitories; Dormitory; Dr. Otis Singletary; Fundraising; Governor Julian Carroll; Joe B. Hall Wildcat Lodge; Land; Names; Ownership; Treasurers; Unique; University of North Carolina (UNC)

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball players--Kentucky; College athletes; College facilities.; University of Kentucky--Basketball

01:22:18 - Relationship with Coach Joe B. Hall

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Partial Transcript: Let me ask you one last thing before I let you go.

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about his continued relationship with Coach Joe B. Hall to this day.

Keywords: Childhood; Friendships; Hard work; Joe B. Hall; Kyle Macy; Lunch bunch; Lunches; Parents; Relationships; Similarities; Youth

Subjects: Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Friendship.; Interpersonal relations; University of Kentucky--Basketball

01:24:27 - Closing thoughts on the origins of Rupp Arena

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Partial Transcript: Okay, are we through?

Segment Synopsis: Holsclaw talks about how he was able to maintain his dental practice while traveling with Coach Joe B. Hall and the UK basketball team. He mentions Dr. Otis Singletary's reactions to his committee's plan to build the basketball arena downtown. He again mentions the fictional high school team, the Lothair Lizards. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Alley Cats; Bids; Citizens Rupp Arena Committee of Kentucky (CRACK); Committees; Contracts; Dental practices; Dentistry; Dentists; Dr. Otis Singletary; Facilities; Feasibility studies; Feasibility study; Fictional; Humor; Knowledge; Lothair Lizards; Made up; Members; Stories; Travel; Trips

Subjects: Arenas; Basketball; Basketball arenas; Basketball coaches--Kentucky; Basketball fans; Basketball--Coaching; Coaches (Athletics); Coaching (Athletics).; Hall, Joe B. (Joe Beasman); Recreation; School sports.; Spectators.; Sports; Sports spectators.; Stadiums.; University of Kentucky; University of Kentucky--Basketball