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UofL severs ties with final two shoe scandal connections

The University of Louisville threw a little more water onto its dumpster fire of scandals by releasing student-athlete Brian Bowen and assistant basketball coach Kenny Johnson today.

Kenny Johnson is no longer with the University of Louisville basketball team.

Bowen’s scholarship to attend UofL remains valid but he was told he will never play basketball for the Cardinals after the FBI revealed secret meetings about shoe company money being funneled to his family.

Johnson was terminated likely as another illustration by the school to the NCAA that it was cleaning house of the entire Rick Pitino leadership team, save for new acting head basketball coach David Padgett and a few support staffers.

David Padgett, Kenny Klein, Vince Tyra, and CJ sports writer Jeff Greer (photo: Sam Upshaw Jr Courier-Journal)

Rick Pitino tells me he is completely finished with coaching although he told ESPN earlier this week that (when he is proven innocent in the shoe company scandal) if any school approaches him about a coaching position, he will consider returning to the game.

Tom Jurich said on my radio show that several schools have contacted him but he will stay in the shadows for now.

With Jurich, Pitino, most of the assistant coaches, and several administrative departures, it appears that board chair David Grissom has only one immediate target remaining: football coach Bobby Petrino. Many suspect that Grissom – urged by Papa John’s founder John Schnatter – wants to completely clean house without forcing interim president Postel to get his hands dirty. That would also mean that David Padgett, originally part of the Pitino team, will be jettisoned by Grissom’s board next April after completing the current season.

Courier Journal, November 24, 2017

It’s Grissom’s show and Postel’s duty to kiss his ring in order to earn the official title of university president. Postel can claim he has nothing to do with these massive changes but in-house emails say otherwise.

Dr Greg Postel and board chairman David Grissom, October 18, 2017 (photo: Howie Lindsey)

For Pitino to land a 5-star like Brian Bowen, who hadn’t been on the radar screen, took Cards fans by surprise. Then when the FBI dropped its investigative bombshell citing payments to Bowen’s family, the massive meltdown from “scandal fatigue” crushed the UofL program and its fan base.

Rick Pitino on WHAS Radio with Terry Meiners, June 5, 2017

But why kill off Tom Jurich, the man who built UofL’s athletic department into America’s top growing program?

No one can answer that question other than board chair David Grissom, and he’s not talking.

iHeart VP Earl Jones, Tom Jurich, Tony Cruise, and Terry Meiners (November 2, 2017)

There is a paper trail indicating that Grissom and interim president Dr. Greg Postel have been slowly choking out the University of Louisville Athletic Association board, a support system in place for 30+ years. The plan would be for athletics leadership to report directly to the school’s board of trustees (see: Grissom).

And so now all UofL can do is wait for the final determination from the NCAA on the school’s appeal over sanctions from a 2015 dormitory stripper scandal. The shoe company meltdown came in 2017 while the NCAA was mulling over punishment for the earlier Level 1 infractions amounting to “improper benefits” for recruits and student athletes.

Will the NCAA be placated to spare the 2013 National Championship Banner? Odds say it will get the same treatment that Bowen and Johnson received and Petrino is about to receive. History.

Michigan guard Trey Burke (3) walks off the court as confetti falls on Louisville players, including Russ Smith (2), Luke Hancock (11), Stephan Van Treese (44) and Zach Price (25), after the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game, Monday, April 8, 2013, in Atlanta. Louisville won 82-76. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)
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