Defying those, including this observer, who believed he had no other choice but to fire Hurtt after the NCAA concluded that he had dished out illegal recruiting benefits while at Miami and then lied about it to investigators. Putting the university in an unfavorable light in the eyes of competitors, those who will never give UofL the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Clint Hurtt.
Jurich is supporting Hurtt personally and professionally, believing that the defensive line coach has been above reproach, a model citizen during his four years at UofL.
“I looked at all the unusual circumstances around this situation. This happened at the University of Miami five, sixm seven years ago, said Jurich. “We’ve only had a chance to judge Clint for four years. What we’ve seen here is that he’s been a model citizen, a model for compliance. He’s done everything we’ve ever asked him to do, above and beyond. He’s been great on the field, he’s been great off the field.
“That weighed a lot into my decision. I think he’s learned a lot from his mistakes. To the best of his recollection, he was open and honest with everybody involved. That’s probably up for debate with the NCAA. I’m putting great faith in what his future is going to be like. He has been heavily penalized since last March. Those penalties are past, they’re present and they’re future.”
The penalties imposed by the NCAA consist of a recruiting ban through June 9,2014, a two-year freeze on compensation levels, required attendance at NCAA rules seminars and a “zero tolerance” policy on any violations, including secondary violations. UofL had already relieved Hurtt of recruiting responsibilities last spring and this fall so the impact on recruiting will have been in effect for three years when the penalty expires.
The NCAA indicated that Hurtt was not truthful during a June hearing, a conclusion that surprises Jurich.
“I take Clint at face value,” he said. “He went in open and honest to those meetings. He looked forward to those meetings with the NCAA. No question about that. He even requested those meetings. His version is a little bit different. Same stories, don’t get me wrong. His are a little different that their versions.”
Jurich said there will be no appeal by the university or by Hurtt. “We want to put it behind us,” he said. “We have great respect for the NCAA and the Committee on Infractions. We know there were issues. We think we can work through them. We’re going to hold Clint to the highest standards possible and we think he will deliver on them.”