Digging up dirt on Jurich latest insult to University of Louisville

UofL supporters have endured an avalanche of bad news and insults in the past couple of years but none that have embarrassed the University more than the latest indignity.  About as low it gets, one has to be humiliated on behalf of the school.

Just when one believes the temporary administration might be restoring a sense of civility and normality at the University of Louisville, here comes the word that someone at UofL is complicit with a law firm using a private detective agency to dig up dirt on Tom Jurich.  

Someone is going to say such investigations are routine in lawsuits against individuals and they may be right. However, in this case it is more of a blatant, awkward and misguided attempt to damage his reputation. Of all the revelations and events that have occurred since Jim Ramsey was forced to resign as UofL President in August 2016, this is the most shocking. That Jurich would be the subject of an investigation is beyond comprehension, showing just how far some will go to discredit an individual. 

Tom Jurich embraces UofLBaseball Coach Dan McDonnell for his continuing success in NCAA regional competition.

That’s Tom Jurich, mind you, the squeaky clean former Vice President of Athletics at the school. The same individual who took a struggling athletic department and made it a model of success. Made UofL nationally competitive in 22 sports. Built an athletic complex that is the envy of college athletics, taking the budget from $9 million in 1997 to more than $100 million today.

Stoll, Keenon, Ogden, a regional law firm representing the university against Jurich, has not admitted that it has hired a private investigation agency, citing client-attorney privilege.  One would have been surprised if they had acknowledged it, especially if an investigation is not yielding anything useful. 

Instead of acknowledging what has been accomplished, Postel continues to seek to destroy Jurich's reputation.

Someone involved with the probe from a detective agency approached the Courier-Journal seeking info about “any allegations of sexual harassment between Jurich and females involved with the University.” As if the C-J would not have already plastered any hints of sexual harassment all over the front page for at least two weeks. It’s what the C-J does but that didn’t occur to the so-called detectives.

The University is obviously facing a major challenge in finding evidence to support its charges of “willful misconduct” and “ineffective management, divisive leadership, unprofessional conduct,” and “intimidation and bullying” in the letter delivered to Jurich in October.

Interim President Greg Postel has denied any knowledge of a private investigation. Board Chairman David Grissom and Board Member John Schnatter never respond to the media . But they will rightfully incur the wrath of angry Louisville fans and alumni for this latest blow to the University’s integrity and reputation.

The last thing Postel needed was for Jurich to be the target of a criminal investigation. He had already angered a large segment of the UofL by firing the most respected administrator in the school’s 220-year history. His  attempted dismantling of TJ’s legacy will come back to haunt him.

He’s currently competing for two major leadership posts, including the permanent office of UofL President and permanent Executive Vice President of Health Affairs. Instead of acknowledging what has been accomplished, Postel continues to seek to destroy Jurich’s reputation. That should be unacceptable to anyone who has witnessed UofL’s growth in athletics over the past two decades.

Quentin Snider shows the way, Louisville rolls past Wake Forest

Not a good start against a team that had lost its last six games and with its back against the proverbial wall. Been there, done that, no fun.

Quentin Snider keeping Louisville close early, scoring 15 points in 20 minutes (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The University of Louisville basketball team would fall behind Wake Forest 17-8, the Cardinals stumbling out of the gate, looking confused, out of sorts. Wake Forest with its back against the wall, highly motivated, badly needing a win.

Quentin Snider wasn’t impressed, not going with the script, wanting the ball. He would bring a calming presence during those first few frantic minutes, scoring seven of UofL’s first 11 points. Snider setting the stage for a 19-2 run, including 14 straight points, to gain control over the Demon Deacons by 27-19 at the 7:07 mark, with UofL taking an eight-point lead to the locker room at the half. 

Louisville would win 96-77 before a crowd of 17,215 at the KFC Yum! Center, improving its record to 15-5 overall and 6-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Snider, UofL’s senior point guard, would get only 20 minutes of playing time but he had done his job. During that time, he had collected 15 points, making five of seven field goal attempts, including three of four 3-point shots. 

Big night for V. J. King as well, sharing scoring honors with 15 points. But it was the other parts of his game that stood out, notably those four assists on offense and two steals on defense. Learning what it takes to be around when a game is actually on the line.

V.J. King having career night with 15 points, four assists and two steals (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Next up is Virginia, on Wednesday at Charlottesville, where Louisville has had no success during its first five seasons in the ACC. They should be looking forward to it, eager for an opportunity to reverse the trend. 

This is UofL after all, not your run of the mill college basketball program. That should provide plenty for motivation for Snider and company.

Down week for Louisville basketball

Good times and bad times seeming to come in bunches for University of Louisville basketball.

The women’s 20-game winning streak is snapped, the men fail to win their fifth straight, and the NCAA appeal looms heavily over the latter’s program.

From the way this week is going for the Cardinals, and based on some questionable information from a crappy source, the immediate outlook for a successful appeal from the NCAA is not good if the decision comes by Friday.

Best news thus far is that Katina Powell, the hooker at the heart of some of the program’s woes, was detained for shoplifting at a local Walmart.  For a toothbrush, no less.

Louisville’s fifth loss in 19th games would be a 78-75 decision in overtime to Miami. A game marred by flashes of freshman guard Lonnie Walker, the performer with a three-inch high bird’s nest on top of his head. Oblivious to the weirdness, having his way with the Cardinals. 

Walker having a coming out party, scoring a game-high 25 points.  Circus shots keeping the Hurricanes close, including one in the final seconds of regulation sending the game into overtime. His teammate, 6-foot-11 Dewan Huell, equally difficult to stop, with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

Still waiting for Quentin Snider to hit a winning field goal for Louisville this season. But not a bad night for him, however, scoring 13 of his team-high 18 points in the second half.  Anas Mahmoud with 15 points, four blocks, two assists and steal. Ray Spalding with nine points and 13 rebounds.

A game Louisville deserved to win, with Coach David Padgett getting everything he could from his team. Doubtful his predecessor or many other prime timers could have won with the way things were going on hump day for UofL basketball.

UConn still awaits Louisville women, special season or not

Sorry to see the 20-game win streak come to an end for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team. Such a great achievement, providing a distraction for a fan base needing a reprieve from an onslaught of bad news. A fan base that was believing this could be a special season.  

Jeff Walz has always said the goal is to win championships but UConn has always been an obstacle.

Indeed, the popularity of women’s basketball in Louisville was set to go through the roof. The Cardinals had attracted 12,614 for the game against Notre Dame last week and drew 14,248 against Florida State on Sunday.  They could have owned the town had they made one more basket.

Asking a lot, with the Cardinals making only 22 of 63 field goal attempts. Florida State’s shooting was even worse, connecting on only 19 of 68 shots. The Seminoles would stagger out of the KFC Yum! Center with the win. So motivated that they could overcame a dreadful shooting day on UofL’s home court.

The loss bringing the shocked and disappointed UofL women back down to earth, confirming Coach Jeff Walz’s belief that his team could ill afford to let off the gas. Having struggled to put a 9-10 Pittsburgh team away earlier in the week, he warned they needed to be more consistent.

The temptation for many UofL fans was to look ahead to the showdown at UConn on February 12. Wondering if this was the season when UofL could seriously challenge the Huskies. There was a growing chorus that Louisville had a great team, with Final Four potential, and was a possible national championship contender.

Explaining the big surge in attendance after averaging 6,000-plus for most of the season. In previous years, the Cardinals had averaged between 8,000 and 9,000 per game. Casual fans jumping back on the bandwagon,  believing UofL could possibly challenge UConn for once. 

The loss to Florida State a rude awakening, a realization that Louisville has to get better if it is to seriously challenge UConn, 18-0 and No. 1 in the latest Associated Press poll. They will meet February 12th at Hartford. UofL has lost 16 of 17 games against the Huskies, with their last win coming in 1993. UConn has pummeled the Cardinals by an average of 24.7 points in their last 10 meetings.

That was the game everybody was looking forward to, regardless of the one game-at-the-time mantra. A chance to finally challenge UConn, with one of Louisville’s best teams ever.

All they have proven thus far is that they can compete with the best and struggle against mediocre teams. No time to worry about UConn for now, not with  four road games at Miami, Virginia, Syracuse, and Clemson, and a home game against Wake Forest over the next couple of weeks. 

The UConn game now could be a major distraction, coming as it does in the midst of nine remaining ACC games.  Winning an ACC title has to come first on Jeff Walz’s list of priorities. Granted, however, a win over UConn would not be very far behind, during the regular season or in post-season play.

Louisville women in a yawner over Pittsburgh, now 20-0

Apparently a challenge for the University of Louisville women’s basketball team to get excited about playing Pittsburgh with all those empty seats at the Peterson Events Center.

Wake me when it’s over, the Cardinals ambulating to a 77-51 win over the Panthers.

The Cardinals led by only four points at the half and by 10 after three quarters. Bionca Dunham would erupt for six straight points in the fourth quarter to ignite a 16-0 run for the Cardinals. Dana Evans making life difficult for the Panthers as well, with three steals, two 3-pointers and eight points.

Yacine Diop of Pitt taking advantage of UofL’s lethargy and post Notre Dame letdown, hitting almost everything she threw at the basket in the first half, getting 19 points.  Her magical night ending when her shots stop falling and she runs out of fouls, but good for 26 points.

Myisha Hines-Allen getting off to a slow start but picking up her game in the second half. Chalking up the 37th double-double of her four-year tenure. She would score 13 points and grab a career high of 18 rebounds.

Asia Durr maybe saving her best stuff for the better teams, with only one 3-pointer and nine points. Steady Sam Fuehring good for 12 points.

Cardinals are 20-0 overall, 6-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.