Will these Louisville Cardinals play in the post-season after all? Will a judge issue an injunction based on breach of recruiting claims made to innocent athletes, thus overturning UofL’s post-season ban? This would shift the national conversation about UofL from prostitution to students’ rights.
Will Rick Pitino forgo his $7.5 million retention bonuses as a show of good faith to self-punish for lack of program control?
Will the university pay out, as Pitino suggested, $10 to $15 million in fines to take the punishment off the players? Will the money go to children’s charities instead of an already cash-stuffed NCAA? How about scholarship money for impoverished students?
Did President Ramsey say that he made the decision to ban and then Rick Pitino claim that it was actually Tom Jurich’s decision? How could Tom Jurich have information to make such a decision when he was not included in the investigative process?
Will Dr. Ramsey survive a myriad of other troubles facing UofL at this time?
Are three of these men taking direction from crisis management guides (like Chuck Smrt, pictured far left) and talking in circles to protect their lucrative contracts with the University of Louisville?
The Internet is crammed with theories about the Louisville scandal, dissecting each utterance from Pitino, Jurich, and Ramsey.
An injunction would simply delay (just like North Carolina) the NCAA’s ultimate beatdown, which could affect recruiting. If Damion Lee and Trey Lewis get to play in this year’s NCAA and Louisville goes dark next March Madness, what would that say to prized Cardinals recruit V.J. King?
Overriding Pitino’s objections, maybe UofL decided to step on Lee and Lewis’ dreams to be rid of this basketball matter so that they can get back to begging donors for the massive football stadium expansion and the football coach’s extended contract.
There were prostitutes bought for recruits in previous seasons so the school took the action to stave off further NCAA sanctions. Bye, bye post-season 2016. Please don’t leave us, V.J. King and other potential hoops stars.
Head basketball coach Rick Pitino told me in October 2015 that he would not resign, calling it “the cowardly way out” in a radio interview.
At Friday’s press conference, UofL President James Ramsey said it was his decision to enact a post-season ban. He also stated full confidence in Jurich and Pitino.
Ramsey: “After consulting with Tom (Jurich), I made the decision to withhold the men’s basketball program from all conference and NCAA post-season competition” this year.
Fans reacted with rage toward UofL President James Ramsey. The banner above O’Shea’s is just down the street from the Cardinals basketball arena. It was removed after one day.
Coach Rick Pitino later said it was not the president’s idea but that of athletics director Tom Jurich, and Pitino blamed “the (NCAA) system” for punishing current players who had nothing to do with illicit activity.
Pitino: “Tom Jurich made this decision (for a post-season ban) not Dr. Ramsey.”
Some think that Pitino is to blame for lack of institutional control.
In recent months, Pitino repeatedly chastised the media for giving prostitute Katina Powell airtime, insinuating that her story was a fabrication. Now comes the university admitting that at least some of Powell’s claims in the best selling book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” are severe enough for a post-season ban.
Many fans are calling for the removal of Ramsey, Jurich, and Pitino in online posts like this one:
David Schneider – “Pitino said everything I needed to hear in yesterday’s interview to let me know where he stands on the postseason ban, and why he stands there. If you didn’t watch it, you really need to … IT’S THAT “PRICELESS” [posted above]. Pitino heaps no less than 15 separate lines of praise on his hero, Tom Jurich; a man he is beholding (sic) to for some of Pitino’s personal indiscretions in the past; describing his adoration for Jurich with words like, “respect, trust, and faith.” Pitino’s bottom line is: Despite how unfair Pitino himself believes the postseason ban is, “We have to trust our leader (Tom Jurich)”.
The fact of the matter is, NO, WE DON’T HAVE TO TRUST JURICH NOR DO WE HAVE TO TRUST PITINO. WE are not beholding (sic) to these two millionaires. WE could not trust them to have the institutional controls in place to prevent the StripperGate scandal; why should WE trust them now?! WE can trust that between our three millionaires (to include Dr. Ramsey); they are now fully committed to running the “Circle The Wagons” defense, and they are desperate enough to throw OUR basketball team under the wagon if it will stem the bleeding on an embarrassing scandal THEY could have thwarted had institutional controls been in place. NCAA sanctions will be far less the quicker we throw these money changers out of the temple! Please keep me apprised of the time/date of the protest march to oust Ramsey, Jurich, and Pitino.”
Meanwhile UofL fans are clutching onto the grammatically incorrect and empty phrase “I got your back” as a gesture of support. Stay tuned for the NCAA’s ultimate hammer. It won’t be pretty.
And some UK fans are relishing all of it.
In an October radio interview, I asked Rick Pitino about a potential self-imposed post-season ban and whether mounting evidence had made him reconsider whether to resign. Pitino seemed irked by my questions but now they are being raised again across the media spectrum.
A few days after the radio interview, I went on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” to defend Coach Pitino from accusations that he knew about these prostitute arrangements and looked the other way.
Throw Lee & Lewis into the wood chipper now in hopes that the NCAA won’t disrupt future recruiting? Feels like a long shot. Despite what Chuck Smrt projects, the Grim Reaper from Indianapolis hasn’t finished packing his hoodoo bag. Let’s hear the complete NCAA verdict before leaving that last payment on the nightstand.
March sadness, indeed.
The University of Louisville has been plagued in recent years with multiple financial scandals in addition to StripperGate. To eradicate Louisville’s rep as Scandal U will require much more scrubbing and philanthropy. Giving millions of dollars to children’s charities is a good start.