Kentucky’s Daniel apologizes to Florida’s Trask for ankle twist

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Kentucky linebacker Kash Daniel (56). (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

, Louisville Courier Journal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Shortly after playing the final game in his Kentucky football career, linebacker Kash Daniel apologized for the most infamous moment of his senior season.

In an appearance on the SEC Network’s Paul Finebaum Show, Daniel issued an impromptu apology to Florida quarterback Kyle Trask more than three months after television cameras caught him twisting Trask’s ankle at the bottom of a pile after a tackle.

“I play the game right,” Daniel said before launching into the apology. “… I apologize to Kyle Trask. For real, I apologize to Kyle Trask. I apologize to the University of Florida. I apologize to the University of Florida fan base. That was out of my league. I’m not about that, so I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I allowed the outside noise to affect my play a couple games, and I can’t do that. To see my guys out here celebrating, it’s all worth it.”

Daniel’s comments came during an on-field interview following Kentucky’s 37-30 win over Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.

The incident in question happened in Kentucky’s Sept. 14 loss to Florida.

After the game, Florida fans began to circulate footage shot from an aerial camera during the ESPN broadcast that showed Daniel rip his hand out from the bottom of a pile after Trask’s failed two-point conversion attempt. While Florida fans read intention into the play, the angle lacked conclusive evidence whether Daniel had actually been twisting the quarterback’s ankle.

Asked for his version of events later that week following a UK practice, Daniel vehemently denied any wrongdoing on his part, claiming he was ripping his surgically repaired hand from the bottom of the pile after it was stepped on.

After Daniel’s denial, a closer video angle of the incident shot from the visitor’s sideline was released showing the UK linebacker grasping and pulling on Trask’s leg with both hands. The video was posted by WYMT-TV and later taken down but remains online at sister-station WKYT’s website.

Daniel declined interviews requests for much of the season after the incident, but even after resuming talking to the media later in the year deflected any questions about controversy in his senior season.

Several Florida players tweeted about the video, and Trask seemingly supported the ankle-twisting version events when he told reporters in Gainesville, “At the end of the day it’s football. It is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about it.”

Florida coach Dan Mullen left it up to the SEC to handle.

“When that stuff happens, that’s something for the league office and the commissioner,” Mullen said the Monday following the game. “I’m sure it’s around the media. I’m sure they’ve looked at it. I’m sure it’s something they would address.”

Daniel finished his UK career with a team-high eight tackles in the come-from-behind Belk Bowl win.

“It’s the only way I wanted to go out,” Daniel said after the game. “…We didn’t have anything like this, have a tradition like this when we got here. Now, to leave the program where it was when we first got here to know taking the pads off for the last time, we worked our ass off. … I owe my life to this place.”

26 COMMENTS

  1. I tip my hat to a young man for admitting what he did was wrong and having remorse. Keep in mind that he is making this statement long after events and long after anyone is thinking about it. So he didn’t have to do this; it seems genuine. We all make mistakes in life, especially when we are young adults. The ability to learn from mistakes and grow into a better person is something that not everyone is capable of.

  2. I would say the Holy Spirit nudged this young man, instead of him listening to more “outside noises”. Regardless of what one believes, though, I think we can all say that he just took a huge step forward in the character department. I’d take him in my unit any day of the week.

  3. Obviously, this has been bothering him, and it says a lot about his character that he just couldn’t let it go. He had to apologize.

    And not that anyone here really cares, but today I will have to be cheering for my other alma mater, Minnesota. It’s where, along with a lot of other things, I learned that liquid is not necessarily the natural state of water.

  4. He did something that Darnell Docket wasn’t man enough to do after injuring our Ernest Graham and I respect him for that. Daniel does have an underlying thug attitude though. Hopefully he can control it from now on.

  5. It is hard to forget about Darnell Dockett. Major cheap shot artist throughout his career. Not just against UF, but anybody Noles played. Daniel seemed like a good guy when Tim Tebow interviewed before the game. Very hard worker. The kid just lost it. Glad he apologized for his actions and that Stoops supsended him for a quarter.

    • One thing I have learned over the years is that the biggest difference between good people and not-so-good people is the ability to admit wrongdoing or mistakes and learn from it, vs those who lack the ability to self reflect, accept any criticism, or admit any wrongdoing. Whether it be soldiers, employees, or general social interaction, those who can accept blame and learn from it will get better and better at their jobs and become better people throughout their lives.

    • You left out Narcissism, David.

      They are not, however, “our leaders” — the are 535 men and women we have chosen to be our representatives, plus 9 who we trust to be fair and impartial but nevertheless did not chose ourselves, and one more who one could call a leader I suppose, but in reality we chose to preside over and generally manage this entire, cumbersome apparatus.

      But Patrick makes a good point well worth remembering. I’d refer you to Psalms 15 for further understanding, but as Albert suggests, that would probably incur somebody’s wrath.

    • Right on, Gator-6. Politicians are not generally what I call leaders. And we cannot ‘demand’ anything, because we are not individual dictators who can choose exactly what we want. When it comes to how we democratically choose our political ‘leaders’ we almost always have to compromise based on what options are available. There are very few politicians I have seen in my lifetime that I would call true leaders or that I even like, but I vote based on what I think is the best choice available. And politics is most often about ideology and choosing those whose ideology most agrees with our own, because you want them to push for policies you agree with, not about who you like the most. There are people I like a lot, who I think are good individuals, that I would not vote for in a million years because I think they are ideologically misguided.

      If you guys saw politics in what I wrote, then I think you took it all completely wrong.

      • Hey bud — I didn’t see any politics in what you wrote, just a well thought out blending of theology and philosophy, knitted together with a very practical take. But what the h-e-double hockey sticks, as far as I’m concerned for the price you’re paying to be on here, you can say nearly about anything you want to within the parameters of good taste (whatever that is, never having been accused of it myself).