The obvious tension among University of Louisville officials is no secret. Mounting pressures from a myriad of financial, legal, and NCAA entanglements have left the school’s leaders singing out of different hymnals.
The Courier-Journal’s Tim Sullivan projects that VP of athletics Tom Jurich’s massive new deal with adidas will break the wall of silence between the administration and the athletics department.
Here is my previous blog post referenced in Sullivan’s CJ column.
UofL Foundation Chairman David Grissom won’t say whether he has asked interim President Dr. Greg Postel to fire head basketball coach Rick Pitino for a “fresh start” following the NCAA scandal. Lots of sources say that’s exactly what happened in July around the time of the new Yum Center deal that Postel steered around Jurich.
Jurich has repeatedly said he will not consider such a move and would leave UofL if Pitino is fired.
Pitino’s buyout is around $44 million. Yeah, ain’t gonna happen. UofL is in no financial position to push out its most successful (and marquee) employee.
Wait…Grissom urged Postel to fire Pitino? Who’s running this nuthouse anyway?
I know this. Coaches in every sport are loyal to Jurich. If Jurich goes, a mass exodus of nearly the entire cupboard of Louisville’s ACC competitive coaches will follow. An abandoned UofL would have to host a coaching job fair with some poorly qualified newbie choosing the replacements.
Jurich and Pitino are UofL’s Fortune 500 company. The adidas deal was announced the other night at the Fifty Yard Line dinner where Jurich commanded the stage while the interim president sat quietly three tables off to the side.
Jurich hosted Gov. Matt Bevin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, business icon Junior Bridgeman, and two adidas executives. Postel was noticeably relegated to secondary status.
Let’s hope all of these UofL leaders can work out their discomfort and come together as a team to face rough waters ahead for all higher education.
Universities all across America are dealing with free falling government dollars, cultural meltdowns that turn off alums, and sparse alumni donations. Newer generations of graduates just don’t send money to the ‘ol alma mater like mom and dad did.
Pitino and Jurich are locks for UofL’s all-time Mount Rushmore. Plus, Bobby Petrino, Jeff Walz, Ken Lolla, and Dan McDonnell are generating their own national buzz and financial success.
Every CEO knows you don’t mess with the profit center. Jurich’s twenty year run has generated an unprecedented BOOM TIME that is the envy of even gigantic schools.
Yes, Pitino and Jurich are my friends. They’ve got tons of supporters, incredible competitive achievements, and they raise incredible amounts of local charitable dollars.
Even the most ardent UofL haters understand that Jurich is the most sought after athletics director in America and Pitino is a Top 5 coach.
Neither could be replaced without sending the university spiraling back into its nadir just before Denny Crum was hired and started UofL’s run to national prominence nearly 50 years ago.
Even a guy with a skimpy resume understands that.