Good Luck wishes from UofL: Student athletes encourage kids to reach goals

Two weeks ago, students from Byck Elementary welcomed special visitors that brought kind wishes, beautiful letters, words of encouragement, and great examples of how much can be achieved with hard work and dedication. These special visitors were University of Louisville student athletes, showing how vital humanitarian work, friendship, love, and care is to the community and children. 

After writing and sending over 12,000 “Good luck” letters for elementary school students, UofL student athletes decided to make one hand-delivery to Byck Elementary students. It’s not all fun and games for these young elementary school students, as they are facing KPREP testing. Luckily, these young students are not going to take these important tests without big encouragement — they have the whole UofL team cheering for them!

This inspiring project of writing “Good Luck” letters is not just an excellent thing for elementary school children. It’s also a rich experience for UofL students. Nothing unites people better and offers a more rewarding experience than helping others, and UofL student-athletes keep showing over and over again that they know that quite well!  

Hard Work and a Bit of Luck

KPREP testing is maybe the first difficult challenge that elementary school students have to face, and it’s crucial for them to feel supported and encouraged by the community. Everybody feels more encouraged when they hear honest good-luck wishes, and it’s no different with young children. Plus, nobody knows better than athletes that a bit of luck always comes in handy. Just as ancient card players expected “good hands” from the gods, athletes too sometimes expect positive vibes, good thoughts, encouragement, and some good luck wishes from the community.

For athletes, good luck can reside in some special ritual — a favorite routine. On the other hand, for card players, it is often brought by playing cards’ symbolic meanings. But for children, it flies over from warm hearts and encouraging words of the community. Moreover, it comes from inspiring words of young intellectuals that already know how success is made and how the battle is won.

A foundation for every success is built on hard work, dedication, and discipline, but luck is important too. People who are facing a challenge always feel more relaxed and confident if they feel like good luck follows them. Since the dawn of time, athletes, warriors, sailors, travelers, artists, and many more have all prayed for some good luck and greeted it with gratitude. There is a thousands-of-years-long relationship between athletes and good fortune — a bond that carries strong symbolic meaning. Now, young athletes are the ones who are sending good-luck wishes and positive vibes!

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Don’t expect serious reforms from NCAA anytime soon


Still another wink and a nod …

Finally the NCAA has begun the process of considering whether college athletes will be allowed to be compensated for their names, images and likenesses. Several decades late but welcome to the real world and the issues engulfing collegiate sports.

The stated purpose of a “blue ribbon committee” is to determine whether athletes should be paid for the use of their talents and persona — as in advertising for commercial ventures and/or video games. That could ultimately be limited to a select number of athletes, or possibly allow all athletes to receive limited compensation.

Either approach would take some heat off the NCAA for taking advantage of the athletes, buying some time for the organization and the public to get used to the idea of compensating college athletes.

However, according to a statement issued by the NCAA Board of Governors, “the group will not consider any concepts that could be construed as payment for participation in college sports. The NCAA’s mission to provide opportunity for students to compete against other students prohibits any contemplation of pay-for-play.”

Apparently the organization is not ready to seriously address the recruiting scandals in college basketball. Everybody knows it has been going on for years, some schools having perfected the cheating process and seemingly beyond the NCAA’s reach.

Men’s basketball programs at Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Clemson, Creighton, Connecticut, Kansas, Louisville, LSU, Miami, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, South Carolina, TCU and USC have all been implicated in some way in current federal trials.

Equally interesting are some of the programs that have not been touched. Curious that the University of Kentucky, the leader in one-and-dones, rarely gets mentioned.  Duke, which somehow secured the services of Zion Williamson over alleged offers from other schools, is rarely mentioned.

Part of the dilemma is that the NCAA consists of and is overseen by member schools, many of which have participated in the hypocrisy for decades. Pretending that amateurism is the organization’s primary goal. Overlooking the obvious,  badly tarnishing the image of the organization and the schools.

Could the involvement of Congress be the answer to cleaning up the process? Don’t count on it. Getting non-partisan support for anything from the professional politicians these days is next to impossible.

Only when the universities themselves tire of the hypocrisy engulfing sports like basketball and football will they do anything to address the real problems. That’s not going to happen in the distant future.

Satterfield quietly maintaining focus on Louisville football

Scott Satterfield on the mound for the University of Louisville (Photo by Jared Anderson).

Some polite applause as Scott Satterfield took to the mound on Tuesday for the ceremonial first pitch prior to the University of Louisville-Vanderbilt baseball game. After a quick acknowledgment, throwing a perfect strike into Zeke Pinkham’s mitt.

Strictly business, watching a few innings before heading back to the Howard Schnellenberger football complex.

Scott Satterfield (Courier-Journal photo).

Pretty obvious from his first few months in town that Satterfield doesn’t bring a ton of charisma to his job as the new University of Louisville football coach. One could be standing behind him in line at the cash register and not make the connection.

Quiet and unassuming, not an individual who’s going to excite the masses with his presence. Never going to resort to hype to sell football tickets, never going to ride an elephant, or compare UofL fans to UK fans. He has more important things to do, faced with the enormous challenge of undoing the damage of his predecessor to the Louisville football program.

The program took an unprecedented nose dive just months after a new board of trustees was installed. Reports surfaced that Bobby Petrino would not be around very long. The former coach owed a lot to former President Jim Ramsey and former Athletic Director Tom Jurich after Petrino’s downfall after the Arkansas scandal.  In the end, a $14 million buyout seemed to be his only motivation.

Rarely has a college football program fallen so quickly and so far than UofL football did under Petrino.

One of Satterfield’s first discoveries was that there seemed to be little rhyme or reason to Petrino’s recruiting practices. More than a dozen wide receivers on hand but only just a handful of offensive linemen, for example. Outside of practice sessions, the players saw very little of Petrino, many of them not even knowing the location of the coach’s office in the football facility.

Petrino was so unlikeable in his profession that he had serious problems hiring and keeping good assistants. So much damage, shaking the very foundations of the program.

So please forgive Scott Satterfield if he seems a bit pre-occupied with all the issues that Petrino left in his wake. Don’t expect any optimistic predictions or quick turnarounds. Not going to be easy, more than likely a long drawn-out grind that’s going to require a lot of patience from fans. 

Scraping bottom at present but, with a coaching staff that actually cares, the program can only get better. Satterfield knows that and has little time for distractions.

Notre Dame is going to pack Cardinal Stadium Sept. 2, hype or no hype.

Special craft beer in works for Louisville alumni, fans

Special craft beer may be on the way for Louisville alumni and fans.

Some people are thinking outside the ivory tower on Belknap Campus.

The University of Louisville is actively entertaining the notion of a special blend of craft beer to be marketed to university alumni and young professionals at retail locations across the country.

Cardinal Brew?  L1C4 Special?  Griffith Gold? Russ Smith Lite?

Just a few names that come to mind for a craft beer that would be specifically marketed for UofL partisans. Lord knows, they love their beer.

The University has issued an official Request For Proposal for a “logoed” craft beer partnership. The partnership will be geared toward providing a craft beer with one of the retro logos from the university archive library.

The RFP states that the partnership does not include UofL athletics. However, the successful bidder will have an opportunity to explore pouring rights and additional university sponsorship marketing outside of the partnership. 

The deadline for responses to the RFP is Thursday, May 2. Applicants making the “short list” will be announced the week of May 6th, with proposer presentations scheduled May 20th and a Letter of Intent the week of June 3rd. The RFP notes that all dates are subject to change.

In support of the school’s commitment to reducing waste and “extraneous” use of natural resources, applicants were requested to submit their proposals on two-sided recycled paper containing 30% post-consumer waste. 

The RFP notes that the University has 141,000 “addressable” alumni. Also included are maps showing the heaviest concentrations of UofL alumni across the nation and in Kentucky and Indiana. The heaviest concentrations outside the region are in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta.

Make that a Cardinal Brew for this observer.

Cabooses more valuable to UofL than additional parking

UofLCardGame photo

By Ed Peak

Say it’s not so.

An alarming story in the local newspaper on Wednesday about the cabooses parked at the north end of Cardinal Stadium. They may be gone soon. All 14 of them, those romantic reminders of America’s past. 

It may not seem a big loss to some but in reality the cabooses are a huge deal, greatly enhancing the atmosphere surrounding University of Louisville football games. I absolutely love them.

These cabooses host hundreds of boosters and fans before and after games. A local radio station does a pregame show from one of the cabooses. There is always a buzz there on game days. People thoroughly enjoying themselves.

According to the Courier-Journal, Caboose Express pays about $19,000 a year to lease the cars, which are on state land, and in turn rents them out each for about $15,000 per year — or about $210,000 annually. It also provides one caboose to U of L for free, according to contracts attached to the suit.

The UofL Athletic Association has  notified the caboose owner that the lease will be terminated. The space is more valuable now than 20 years ago when the cabooses arrived. Apparently U of L wants the cabooses, or the space, for itself.

But Cardinal Stadium and the surrounding areas have many places to park. It is currently used as a party area as many cabooses having full kitchens. Some fans watch Cardinal baseball on top of the cabooses during the NCAA baseball tournament, especially when Jim Patterson Stadium is sold out.

The University of Louisville Athletics Department needs more revenue. Athletic Director Vince Tyra has been forced to squeeze every nickel, dime and penny out of every revenue source. Let the finger-pointing begin.

This goes back to former Athletic Director Tom Jurich and two coaches. Football coach Bobby Petrino who left he Cardinal football program in shambles when he was asked to leave in November and owed $16 million. Rick Pitino and his deny, deny, deny tactics. It wasn’t me. I don’t know anything. Costing Cardinals athletics lost lots of revenue.

That the ULAA would even consider doing away with cabooses may be an indication of deeply that athletic program has been affected by all of the damaging events over the past three years. It’s a mistake, however, to assume that more parking revenue would make up for the loss of the cabooses.

Time for the Athletic Association to go back to Caboose Express and renegotiate the terms of the lease. Those cabooses represent far more potential for profit than any new parking schemes. Their loss would be a major blow to the optics of University of Louisville football.