LEXINGTON, Ky. — Senior guard Nick Haynes is no longer with the Kentucky football team, coach Mark Stoops announced Saturday afternoon. Stoops said it was a mutual separation.
Haynes hadn’t played on offense since Kentucky’s game against Missouri on October 7. The Niceville, Fla., native suffers from Type 1 diabetes. He’s listed at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds, but Haynes’ weight hovered in the 260-pound range for much of the season. Haynes said earlier in the season that he didn’t feel comfortable playing at his current weight. Stoops said Haynes’ health factored into the decision.
But aside from that, Haynes sparked controversy on the eve of Senior Day with a tweet that blasted the Kentucky coaching staff.
“Most of these coaches don’t care about us personally,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “It’s all about that check. That’s the one big thing I’ve observed here at UK. They’ll use you up for all your worth and then throw you to the side.”
Haynes, a captain for most of the season, participated in the Senior Day ceremony a day later before Kentucky’s loss to Louisville. It was an interesting scene as he ran out of the Kroger Field tunnel for the last time and hugged coach Mark Stoops.
Nick Haynes with a hug for Mark Stoops on Senior Day. pic.twitter.com/gmIDiSDc5V
— Joe Mussatto (@joe_mussatto) November 25, 2017
“I’ll keep it between Nick and I,” Stoops said after the game when asked about the situation. “He could answer for himself, but I was disappointed in that as well, because we had just had probably one of the best team meetings I had been a part of to be honest with you. We’ve got a really good group of seniors, and we had a really good, emotional meeting. There were a lot of good vibes in that room.”
Stoops went onto say that Haynes was “rubbed the wrong way after curfew” by one of the younger coaches on staff. Haynes had complained earlier in the day about Senior Day tweets that initially didn’t include him.
Haynes said before the Louisville game that he still plans to pursue an NFL career.
“It’s not something that’s out of my reach, and it’s something I wanna do,” Haynes said. “So, I’m gonna work my hardest to do that.”