If there is a
play in which Kovach was involved that stands out in Bailey's mind, it is one
designed to confuse linebackers, a screen pass thrown to LSU's Charles
Alexander. "Kovach diagnosed the play perfectly and hit Alexander a split
second after he caught the pass," Bailey says. " Alexander was so
stunned he just sat on the ground for a few moments. If Jim decides he wants to
try pro ball I think he's got a good shot."
Once the season
ends, Kovach will be faced with that decision. He had made up his mind to give
up football after this year, no matter what happens in the pro draft, where he
figures to be a high choice. However, Debbie is pregnant again, and Kovach
feels he must re-evaluate his future. Obviously, a man with a wife and two
children needs money. If he plays pro ball, he can get it right away. If he
goes to med school, he will be struggling until he hangs out his shingle.
way I can play pro ball and go to UK because they can't put a six-month program
into their curriculum." he says. "If they could do that, I would jump
at it. But it's taken me a year to get into med school and I'm not going to do
anything that would eliminate my being a doctor. Kentucky has stuck its neck
out a long way for me. They have an investment in me just by picking me out of
all the applicants. But now that Debbie's pregnant again, that changes things.
I guess I've got to keep my options open."
situation would be for Kovach to be drafted by an NFL team in a city that also
has a medical school that would set up a six-month program for him. That is
what the University of Cincinnati did for Tommy Casanova of the Bengals, who
retired this season to devote full time to medical school.
does, the next several years will be demanding. He does not really mind—"I
love to be busy," he says—but he also dreams of the day when he is an
ophthalmologist in Lexington, the city in which he intends to settle.
intimate with sports in a participant way right now," Kovach says, "but
I'm looking forward to the time in my life when I can be a fan. You know, read
the paper, get in my Winnebago with Debbie and the kids and go to a Kentucky
game. I've used football and not let football use me. And when it's over, I'm
still going to root for teams and stuff. I'm going to be a heck of a