Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

UK sports legends Babe Parilli and Bill Spivey, 1951

Posted on July 19, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by

Posing with University of Kentucky sports publicity editor Ken Kuhn, football star Babe Parilli, left, and basketball star Bill Spivey traded equipment in January 1951 in Lexington. The photo ran Jan. 14, 1951, in the Sunday Herald-Leader, with a story about how the two stars came to UK on their own, neither being recruited by alumni or talent-hungry coaches. Click here to read that story. They would become what Kuhn described as the most publicized athletes in Kentucky history. At the time of this photo, Parilli was a couple weeks removed from leading the Wildcats to an upset over No. 1 Oklahoma in the 1951 Sugar Bowl. He helped bring national recognition to UK football during the golden era of Bear Bryant. A first-team All-American in 1950 and 1951 and a member of the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame, Parilli died July 15. Spivey, one of the first 7-footers to play basketball in college, was in the middle of his second season with the Wildcats. He scored 22 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in leading UK to its third national title three months later. He was selected Helms Foundation national player of the year and a first-team All-American. Spivey later was implicated in a point-shaving scandal. Several UK Wildcats of the era admitted that they accepted money to shave points, but Spivey, who was indicted for perjury in the case but was acquitted, was adamant to the end of his life (he died in 1995 at age 66) that he never had any part in attempts to fix college games. Herald-Leader File Photo

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