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Gay sex and UK football

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A self-published book by a Kentucky writer makes the claim that some University of Kentucky players in the 1960s played gay for pay. According to a report in today's Lexington Herald-Leader, "The Thin Thirty" by Shannon Ragland has this to say:

According to Ragland's account, some UK players in the early 1960s became involved with two gay men who had moved to Lexington around 1959. The two men were luring players to their Lakewood Drive residence with offers of free food, alcohol and parties even before [Charlie] Bradshaw became coach, the book says. Eventually, according to Ragland, some players submitted to gay oral sex in exchange for money, receiving $200 or more for each act. At some point, Ragland writes, movie star Rock Hudson became involved through his friendship with one of the party hosts. (Hudson died of complications from AIDS in 1985.)

Ragland contends that the players involved probably didn't view themselves as taking part in gay sex. Rather, he says, they felt they were "gaming" the situation.

"It was like, 'I'm getting paid for doing this? I'm putting something over on them," Ragland said. "Most of these guys were from rural areas and modest backgrounds. They had no real concept of homosexuality."

Kay Collier McLaughlin, whose father, Blanton Collier, preceded Bradshaw as coach at UK, says Ragland's account rings true. McLaughlin said a UK player told her about the Rock Hudson connection shortly before her father left UK, noting that she alluded to the gay-sex situation in her own 1985 book about her father.

Ragland wrote Outsports to alert us to the Herald-Leader article. The main thrust of the article deals with alleged game-fixing by the Wildcats, charges that have been denied. The paper said McLaughlin "has 'reservations' about Ragland's game-fixing suggestion, 'But I don't have any doubts about the Rock Hudson stuff.'"

The paper added that: "Several former players said in interviews that they were aware of the parties on Lakewood Drive, though they didn't take part, and they didn't dispute Ragland's descriptions." --Jim Buzinski