I’ve been dreading the appeals decision just like most kids dread going to the dentist. At least when you go to the dentist, you have an appointment and you can prepare your mind prior to going in. The NCAA left us hanging and then dropped the news on a random Tuesday without warning. Although most of us knew what the outcome would be, we still held out a little bit of hope that we could keep the banner – It didn’t happen.
So what now?
Well, many folks are screaming that Louisville needs to fight by suing the NCAA. Many are saying that if this administration doesn’t fight then they don’t care about us or the University. If you are saying that then you are just wrong. It’s time to take a dose of reality. Louisville committed NCAA violations that were unprecedented. The NCAA decided what are appropriate punishments for those violations, and now it’s time to accept them. While I don’t agree with the punishments, I realize that continuing to fight to lessen those punishments will only hurt the University in the long run.
Louisville needs to start thinking about the future and getting back to another “Year of the Cardinal.” That was a great time and I’d like to have another experience similar to that one before I die. But we (as a whole) can’t move ahead if we are fighting to restore the past.
Before Tuesday, I was 100% in favor of fighting with everything to keep the banner. Losing the banner puts a black eye on the University FOREVER. Every record book will show that the 2013 men’s NCAA basketball championship was vacated. Louisville basketball is now the answer to a sad trivia question, and I don’t want it to be like that – but it is.
Suing the NCAA is not in the best interest of the University. It’s just not a good financial decision. Suing would cost an estimated 5-10 million dollars and take another couple of years. And if you win, financially you get repaid the $600,000 you had to pay the NCAA. I’m not great at math, but…
You could take those millions and pay the salary of a new basketball coach and start to rebuild. In case you forgot, Louisville is, and always will be, a top 10 basketball program.
Being a member of the NCAA, you join voluntary and agree to their rules. They are the judge, jury and executioner. Fair or not, that’s the reality. NCAA guidelines are not black and white and they determine punishment on a case by case basis. No judge is going to look at Louisville’s case and say, “So, you joined this group voluntarily, agreed to their rules and regulations – you broke those rules – you don’t like the punishment and want me to overturn it? OK. Sure, seems fair.” It’s just not going to happen folks, so let’s save some money, take our lumps and rebuild.
The NCAA is flawed and we can’t change that but what Louisville can do is show them that they can’t hurt the University long-term. The biggest flaw with the NCAA is that they punish to heavy retroactively instead of punishing the future. Yes, they took away our banner but we all know it happened. We lost a post season and kids who were not involved had to suffer unjustly. If the NCAA really wanted to deter future violations, then they would punish schools with things that could cripple a program for years to come like, limiting the number of scholarships to 6 for the next 5 – 7 years. And if the school chooses to keep the guilty parties on staff then the punishment is extended to 10 years. 5 year post season bans and then another 5 years of probation would be a good start. Don’t punish kids who are currently at the school with a postseason ban over something that happened before they arrived on campus. And don’t take away wins from a guy like Luke Hancock who had nothing to do with the violations. Punish the school in the future. Maybe that will scare schools enough to not commit violations or to be more accountable for the actions of their players and staff. It may also allow a kids who couldn’t get a scholarship to a major D1 school, to go play for one that is under NCAA punishment. The trade-off for that kid would be that he won’t get to play in the postseason – but he will know that going in, so it’s his choice.
Let’s pull back for a second and look at Louisville’s situation. If there were no Adidas scandal, then they probably still have coach Pitino, most (if not all) of a very good recruiting class and probably a top 10 team for next season. All that after only losing a banner, a few scholarships, 1 self-imposed post season ban and some chump change.
I’m not saying Louisville got off easy but if not for the Adidas scandal, Louisville could be contending for a national title only a year after having a banner removed.
The University just needs to move on and start rebuilding. But rebuild the right way. No more of this “win at all costs” culture. The longer Louisville fights this, the longer till they get back to prominence.
As much as it pains me, it’s in the best interest to let the banner go without anymore of a fight. It’s time to focus on the future.
I believe Vince Tyra is the guy to lead us into the future. And by all accounts, Dr Postel impressively fought very hard to keep the banner. I applaud him for that but I still think that he is not the right guy to lead this University into the future. I’m afraid he will hold Tyra back from doing the job he needs to do, or any athletic director, for that matter.
The banner is gone – Time to move on.
As Always, GO CARDS!