** Everything you are about to read are strictly my views and opinions. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of CSZ or any of the CSZ staff **
Sometimes I just gotta keep it real
I have loved the University of Louisville for a very long time. I have lived in this city my whole life and spent about 5 years living on campus. The University is very dear to my heart and that’s why this whole thing is killing me and just wearing me out. I have fatigue and am in dire need of some normalcy. But I also understand that sometimes things must get worse before they can get better. I also know that I don’t want them to rush on making decisions just for the sake of trying to get back to normal. Although I am fatigued, I’ll wait a little longer if that means getting things done the right way – Ya know, with integrity, morals and a plan.
There are 3 employees at the University of Louisville that currently have interim title’s. Those 3 positions are very vital to the future of the University. It’s time to start making a plan to have those positions occupied by employees with a contract longer than a year. And not just any plan, a well thought out plan that is in the best interest of the future of the University and not what is best for some people in Frankfort.
Vince took over the Athletic Director position on an interim basis on October 3rd, 2017. He was given a 1 year contract that will pay him $100,000 a month. Was he the right person for the job? Well, at the time, I don’t think the University could have found anybody better. Three months later, I think he has done a great job and if he ends up being the new AD at UofL, I’m completely fine with it (not that my opinion matters) - I’ll ride or die with Vince. If you do some research on him, you will see that everything he touches is successful.
I understand that he has no AD experience but he has something that most AD’s don’t have – a pure and true love for the University that he works for. I know some of you will say, “but he went to UK.” If you are one of those people, then you need to delete me, unfollow me and stop reading my stuff because that opinion is lazy, uneducated, short-sighted and flat-out ignorant. I have no time for such foolishness. As if where he went to school discredits his accomplishments… Please stop! His father was arguably the greatest basketball player to ever wear a Cardinal uniform. He loves this University so much that he said in an interview with Courier Journal reporters “Ive said all along that if theres a top-class AD out there thats really going to help us, Im happy to go back to my club seats and watch the game. At the same time, I really give a damn here about this staying on track and dealing with the situation at hand. Thats where Im trying to provide leadership and was the reason I walked in.” He is not afraid to make the hard decision as long as it is in the best interest of the University.
While I am fine with Vince as the new AD, I also believe he shouldn’t just be handed the job. He needs to apply just like everyone else. It’s only fair to him, the fans, the student athletes, the alumni and the faculty, that the BOT at least look at to see if there is a better candidate who is interested in leading the growth and well-being of Louisville athletics. The BOT has put together a 10 person search committee to find a new AD. The board has said that they hope to have the position filled by March 20th. I believe that a president needs to be in place before they hire an AD. In my opinion, if they are ready to hire an AD, then the board must have already privately decided that Dr. Postel will be the permanent president.
David took over an impossible position. He was handed the keys to an elite basketball program about 27 seconds prior to the start of the season and must follow a hall of fame coach who had over 40 years of experience. He was also handed a roster of players who didn’t sign up to be coached by a rookie. One would think that the 32-year-old, was told that he would be coach just for this season but he would definitely be considered for the job based on the outcome of this season. Thus the 1 year contract.
I’m sure David accepted this dubious task for several reason. First, he loves the University of Louisville. He made it quite clear that playing for the name on the front of the jersey still means something special. Second, having the title, Head basketball coach at the University of Louisville, looks great on a resume. So even if he failed, he still has that experience to help him land another head coaching job. And if he succeeds, he could possibly remain as head coach at the school he loves. It’s a risk worth taking.
Sometimes I feel really bad for David because of the fans bashing him when they lose. He is trying his hardest and that is good enough for me. I don’t always agree with some of his coaching decisions but I didn’t always agree with Pitino’s either. David is learning and growing as a coach. Will he learn and grow enough to remain the head coach at Louisville? That remains to be seen but as the case with Tyra, he needs to be on a list of possible candidates. Maybe David will be the next head coach and maybe he won’t but the new AD needs to look at all possibilities. Again, that’s what is best and fair for David, the alumni, the fans, the team, the students, the donors and the University as a whole.
I think David should be on a list of possible permanent head coaches. My list includes, Jay Wright, Chris Mack, Buzz Williams and David Padgett.
Right now, the University doesn’t know how much money they will be able to offer a new coach because they still don’t know how much money they will have to pay Pitino, Jurich and the NCAA. Once those numbers are settled, then they can establish an athletic budget that will include a salary for a head basketball coach. If money is no object the it’s a no brainer that the AD must call Jay Wright and offer him 5 million a year. Something tells me that he would accept. That is reportedly double his current salary.
Where to begin with this guy? I’m failing to understand what his agenda is. I know he said he wanted to put more of an emphasis on academics but at what cost? Athletics brings a lot of money and attention to the University. That money helps fund the new labs, academic buildings and so much more. There has to be a balance.
He and his board have been heavily scrutinized for many of the decisions they have made. Not many of their decisions have been popular but many could quite possibly be the correct decision. And that’s just the problem, nobody knows why they made those decisions. The BOT has been as transparent as the waters of the Ohio River. Especially in the Tom Jurich case.
Everybody knows why they fired Rick Pitino and it’s totally justified (unless you only care about winning and not about morals or accountability). But Jurich is a different story. The man has done so much for the University. He brought a vision to the University and turned it into reality. However, during the process of making that vision a reality, he got a lite bit too powerful and made some unethical moves regarding money. Granted, the former president is partly to blame for enabling him with that power, but nevertheless, he is still responsible for his decisions. We can only assume that BOT fired him for that reason but we can’t be sure because they won’t tell us anything. We also don’t know for sure if Postel told Tom to fire Rick or not. He said he did then said he didn’t. Who really knows but if he did and Tom refused, then Tom could have been fired for insubordination. I’m not 100% sure I would have fired Tom even though I am fully aware he made some unethical decisions. I think I would have removed some of his power and given him 90 days to fix his financial mistakes. But I do understand why he was fired and I’m not that upset about it.
Since the firing of Tom Jurich, many other instances of what appear to be poor decision-making and bad timing are a re-occurring theme. The optics make it appear as though the BOT have it out for Tom. And this might be totally true but it also may not be. I can’t decide if this leadership is incompetent or just ignorant. Those poor decisions could quite possibly be because they just don’t really know what they are doing. Or they could be well calculated decisions that are all part of a greater plan. The trouble is, we just don’t know. We only know what it looks like.
All I know for sure if that we are almost done with one scandal and the ramifications of the second scandal are on the horizon. I know for sure that I don’t want this current BOT, led by Dr. Postel, navigating the University that I love through that mess. We don’t need or deserve to be left out in the dark in our most desperate of times. We, as fans, alumni, faculty and a city, deserve to be told the truth and need a leadership that will have an open and honest line of communication to help repair this severed relationship between “us” and “them.”
You wanna win the fan base back? Fight with everything you have to keep the banner. #ItMatters #WeAreUofL
As Always, GO CARDS!