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Mark Stoops: Changing a culture is a lot different than changing a climate

Climate and culture have very different meaning, and Mark Stoops explains the difference seemingly taking a shot at Shane Beamer in mentioning "dancing around and wearing stupid sunglasses."

Mark Stoops has made some headlines in recent weeks while defending his program heading into his tenth season leading the Wildcats.

Most recently, he fired back at UK men's basketball coach John Calipari after coach Cal called Kentucky a "basketball school."

An interview that was shot back during SEC Media Days has been making its way around social media this morning where Stoops makes a critical comment that seems to be directed at South Carolina's Shane Beamer that is sure to ruffle some feathers in the Gamecock fan base.

For some brief background, Beamer appeared on stage at SEC Media Days on Tuesday (July 19th) and just before going on stage, the team's social media released a video of him and a handful of players having some fun with a TikTok trend where he put on a hat and some shades and lip synced a song.

Stoops made his rounds with media at SEC Media Days the following da, Wednesday July 20th.

In the interview making its rounds today, Stoops gets asked about the types of things he is proud of building in Lexington, and he goes on to share some interesting thoughts on the difference between climate and culture, and that's where the comment directed at Beamer seem to come in.

"I think, ultimately, it's the respect throughout the league when you're dealing with coaches and players. Win or lose you walk out there and you know you're going to be in for a physical match up. That we are coming to play, and coming to compete, and having that mindset, because that's not easy to change."

"I talked years ago about climate versus culture. It's easy to change a climate. You just change the uniforms, talk a little game, dance around and put on some stupid sunglasses and you can change a climate."

"But to change a culture is at the core, and I am quite certain that we have changed our culture. It's just who we are, and how we are perceived. You look around at some of the greatest coaches and the respect that you get and the respect that our players carry with them, because they know who they are."

"I don't pretend, and this isn't about me, but that culture throughout our whole organization has totally flipped from being looked at, as kind of a dog to being looked at as 'Hey, you better come ready to play because we're coming.' Our players feel that...our fans feel that, and that's a good feeling."

As a coach who has tried to turn around programs, I think there's some truth in what Stoops shares there on the difference between climate and culture. A climate can change in a year, but it takes longer than that to change a culture.

Sure he could have said it without the shot across the bow toward Beamer, but it's impossible to say that the perception of Kentucky football has not completely flipped as the Wildcats look to put together their third ten-win season in four years. 

Over in Columbia, Beamer and South Carolina battled some serious quarterback issues (remember, they dressed a graduate assistant to start a few games) to go 7-6 in Beamer's inaugural season and they landed Spencer Rattler this off season to hopefully take them to the next level.