The ‘Ville Voice has learned that WHAS Radio sports talk show host Lachlan McLean, who was indefinitely suspended from his job after reading an anti-U of L football poem on the air, is scheduled to be back to his regular duties on Monday. But the circumstance of his suspension and reinstatement should have the Cardinal Nation talking for a while.
McLean received a lengthy poem, apparently written by a die-hard University of Kentucky fan, and read it on the air prior to Kentucky’ s big win over the Cardinals in Lexington. The poem made several insensitive references to Cardinal linebacker Willie Williams. U of L athletics director Tom Jurich, who had taken a personal hand in recruiting Williams, was particularly irritated by the poem, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Williams was a talented football player with a troubled past. He had been arrested 11 times before signing at the University of Miami in 2004. After one year, he transferred to West Los Angeles Community College, and through a friend of Jurich’s, ended up on the U of L roster this season. He played in three of the team’s four games, and had not been particularly impressive.
After hearing McLean read the poem on-air on WHAS, according to sources, a seething Jurich exerted some influence by pressuring advertisers to pull out of McLean’s nightly show. That created a chain reaction that quickly resulted in what was later termed an “indefinite suspension” of McLean with no public explanation from the station.
Then, on Wednesday night, Williams decided to crank up his car stereo while driving around downtown. That attracted the attention of a police officer, who pulled him over. Inside Williams’ car, the cop found the linebacker trying to eat the evidence, and made him spit out a chaw of marijuana. When Williams was arrested, Jurich wasted no time in dismissing Williams from the team, from school, and from his life.
In a statement published in the C-J, Jurich said he was disappointed in Williams and wished him well. Jurich must know he’s in line for criticism for taking on Williams, and said in July that “It’s a leap of faith. I’ve been wrong on kids before.”
But maybe not this wrong. Now how does this relate to McLean?
Seems that since Williams was the subject of the poem that prompted McLean’s suspension, and that Jurich’s faith in Williams’ turnaround was unfounded, someone figured out that the whole affair was unfair to the talk radio host. Hence, McLean was told on Friday that he could come back to work Monday.
This affair, along with the many troubles the program has experienced this week, is drawing all the wrong kind of attention from “the fans” and every media operation imaginable. It makes the idea of getting through the aftermath of another loss horrifying.
Win or lose, and after this tumultuous week at U of L — it had better be win, McLean’s show will be worth listening to on Monday.