Chris Jones gone, alone now, pursuing other options

The last time I saw Kenny Klein, the University of Louisville sports information director, he was rushing past me Saturday after the Miami game, actually running from the locker room, looking for someone at the KFC Yum! Center. I had never seen him in a hurry. Must have been urgent.

Chris Jones outta here.
Chris Jones outta here.

A few minutes ago, here comes an email from Klein saying, “Chris Jones has been dismissed from the University of Louisville men’s basketball team.  There will be no comment on the matter.”

Whether the mad dash was related or not is irrelevant. What is important is that Rick Pitino’s off-again and on-again relationship with Chris Jones is over. Jones is history.

Reading between the lines, Pitino has said over the last couple of days that he doesn’t like to suspend players, giving the impression that the final decision may not have been his.

Jones may have taken just enough steps to play one more game but whatever the issue was, it was far from being resolved. Now we wait for the explanation, with the facts trickling out of the social media scrubbing machine over the next couple of days.

An enigmatic player with tons of skill, he was averaging 13.7 points and four rebounds per game. He led the team in assists, with 94, and steals, with 53 for the season. He also led the team in dramatics, a continuing source of concern. It has been apparent to people who follow the team closely that something has been hindering team chemistry all season.

College should be the best time of one’s life, especially for a basketball player in a program like Louisville’s, the most encouraging and positive environment possible. With a Hall of Fame coach guiding him, providing a blueprint for success, offering personalized instructions and advice, Jones was in a very enviable position. Unfortunately, he is giving all that up, trusting his own instincts, left to his own devices.

Chris obviously has significant issues, distracting him on and off the basketball court. Hopefully, he’s able to work them out as he pursues other options on his own. Literally on his own.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

7 thoughts on “Chris Jones gone, alone now, pursuing other options”

  1. What a surprise. Just when you think the problem is resolving itself, then this happens. It’s going to hurt.

    The biggest surprise, to me anyway, is how U of L manages to keep the wraps on the details of this evolving development. Where are the anonymous sources and the not-for-attribution quotes from unnamed sources when we want to hear them?

    Hopefully, there is some sort of an upside to this.

  2. The early feedback on the message boards is all over the place. If there’s a positive, it is that the incident(s) don’t appear to have been similar to the reason Chane Behanon was dismissed. The rapid changes in Jones’ status over three days makes me wonder whether he squeezed in another game because of a crack in the administrative process at UofL.

        1. So, what was the look? Fear, sadness, anger, terror?
          How does it relate to Chris Jones?
          If something happened in the locker room, surely someone would be telling it now.

          1. Stay tuned. I thought it was unusual at the time or I wouldn’t haven’t brought it up. Wasn’t suggesting anything happened in the locker room. He could have learned something there. Since you seem to want to pin me down, I’ll confess it may have been totally unrelated. Interesting, nevertheless.

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