Send Jock Sutherland a birthday card, he will be 92

Jock Sutherland was a color commentator for UofL games on WHAS from 1981 to 2001 (Charlie Springer photo).

Gonna ask a favor of University of Louisville fans, especially those who enjoyed the color commentary of Jock Sutherland as the analyst on WHAS broadcasts of UofL basketball games from 1981 to 2001.

The favor is to send a birthday card or note to Sutherland who will be celebrating his 92nd birthday on March 14th. No, there’s not an email address because he doesn’t use computers . “Never did, only when absolutely necessary,” he once told the Observer.

The address: 

Jock Sutherland
234 Fairway Drive West
Nicholasville, KY 40356.

His wife Phyllis says Jock truly treasures the memories of covering Louisville basketball and all the UofL friends he made. “He would be thrilled if Cardinal fans could remember him on his birthday,” she said.

Send a birthday card, a generic card or a note, to Jock today while it’s still fresh on your mind.  Covering Louisville basketball was a joyful time for him.  Do it today.

Jock Sutherland back with more from UofL broadcast days

Jock Sutherland

Catching up with Jock Sutherland, now in his 91st year. Still as funny as he ever was, recently recalling his days as a color commentator for University of Louisville basketball.

Jock never pretended to be a broadcaster, and today admits he would never have made it as a play-by-play man.

Jock and Van Vance were in Knoxville for the Dream Game in 1983 as the broadcast team for WHAS radio. There was static on the air and Vance ducked down under the table to work on the equipment, telling Jock to take it. “I told him I was not a play-by-play guy, but there was no other option,” said Jock. “I was awful. He told me I would never have to do that again.” 

Never a dull moment for Sutherland, the long-since retired sidekick of Vance on WHAS radio.  Together they were an unforgettable broadcast team for UofL basketball for more than 20 years.

Jock has had a busy year, getting with Van for their annual get-together and adding an electric chairlift so he can navigate the steps at his two-story house in Nicholasville.

Unfortunately his driving days are over, as a result of another motorist slamming into the side of his Chevy S-10 pickup truck. Fortunately Jock was not hurt but the pickup was beyond repair. Through with driving, he now relies on his wife Phyllis for transportation.

Phyllis is still working part-time four hours a day for the local board of education, reducing her hours so she can spend more time with Jock. “We’re there for each other,” she says. “He’s still a lot of fun to be with.”

Jock was recently interviewed again by film producers Renee Collins and Warren Cobb for Room 17 Productions about his experiences with Vance for the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History:

Jock Sutherland: The WHAS Broadcasting Years from Renee Collins on Vimeo.

Morgan & Morgan: Put Carol Cartwright on the stand

Call Carol Cartwright to the stand.

Highly doubtful that the lawsuit being filed against the NCAA is going to reverse the action resulting in the loss of the University of Louisville’s 2013 national championship banner.  But that team was able to overcome many obstacles.

Led by Luke Hancock, who was selected as most outstanding player in the title game, the group claims the NCAA damaged their reputations and affected their potential incomes. They want the banner and wins back, along with an admission from the NCAA that they are innocent . 

The potential witnesses in this case could be interesting, ranging from Andre MeGee to Katina Powell, and possibly numerous former UofL players and coaches. However, the person one most wants to see on the witness stand in this case is Carol Cartwright, the individual who served as chairperson of the Committee on Infractions in UofL’s case.

One sees Cartwright’s fingerprints all over the draconian decision that ignored the University’s cooperation, the investigation and the self-imposed punishment. Beyond the pale, hammering the players, the school and the fan base with unprecedented penalties.

Cartwright, the first female president at Bowling Green State and Kent State universities, was a forceful advocate for women’s studies at both institutions and was later named to the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame. So a case involving a group of young women would be of  special interest to her.

One suspects Cartwright, the only female member on the Committee on Infractions, was especially aggravated by the charges of stripping and possible prostitution. One also suspects that Cartwright, as chairwoman of the committee, was the individual who recommended the severe penalties which, in turn, were rubber-stamped by fellow committee members. The extent of the penalties was unwarranted.

Coincidentally, Cartwright also has been critical of conflicts of interest within the NCAA. She served as co-chair on the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which was created to make recommendations following the revelations of an ongoing FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting.

Cartwright argued in an article she co-authored for the Chronicles on Higher Education that the NCAA should shift from being a membership association — with inherent conflicts of interest — to being an independent leadership organization to govern Division 1 college basketball and football.

“We concluded that the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and by extension the university presidents who lead it, cannot engineer that transformation under its current governance structure, even with the best intentions,” she wrote. The co-author was Arne Duncan, former U.S. secretary of education.

Cartwright is obviously quite familiar with the failings of the NCAA and with some possible conflicts of her own when it comes to judging accusations against a men’s basketball team. She should be required to answer some questions on the witness stand.

She has some explaining to do.

*    *    *

According to one report, the case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Olu Stevens locally. If the name is familiar, it was Stevens who was placed on probation for 90 days by the state in 2017  after accusing a prosecutor of racism and dismissing a jury.

Not the best judicial venue for a case to be considered, but it has to start somewhere. These former UofL players are no strangers to major hurdles.

Let the Chris Mack era begin at Louisville

While acknowledging some issues, Chris Mack chooses to look forward at Louisville (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

All the flack endured by the University of Louisville over the past couple of years was unfortunate but none of the issues did anything to dampen Chris Mack’s admiration of the UofL basketball program. His respect was such that he would leave his hometown and give up a nine-year coaching stint at his alma mater to take charge at Louisville.

Three-year-old Brayden vied with the press with his father’s attention during Chris Mack’s introductory press conference at the University of Louisville (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

“This is an awesome and exciting day for me and my family, the opportunity of a lifetime,” he told the crowd of approximately 350 people at his introductory press conference at the KFC Yum! Center. “Standing here before you representing a school that has had two permanent basketball coaches since 1971., two hall of fame coaches, multiple final fours, multiple national championships, and multiple All-Americans … ”

The new UofL coach was accompanied on the stage by his wife Christi, his daughters, Hailee, 11, and Lainee (12). His 3-year-old son Brayden also was there but not long, wandering the back of the meeting room where he was heavily pre-occupied with  Play Doh.

Former UofL Coach Denny Crum tells Chris Mack that he made a good decision to move his family to Louisville (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

If Mack sounded like someone living the dream, it was because he has long admired UofL basketball. “I told the UofL players it was not easy to leave a situation in which less than 24 hours ago I was in another locker room with another group of players with a lot of tears,” he said. “To leave Xavier to come here, this place had to be pretty special. And it is, very special.”

Chris Mack became Vince Tyra’s first major hire since assuming athletic director responsibilities at UofL (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Sharing his enthusiasm is his wife, the former Christi Hester, who grew up in the Louisville area. She was runner-up for Miss Kentucky Basketball as a senior at Holy Cross High School in 1996.  Runner-up to Jaime Richey, the sister of Jeff Walz, who coaches the UofL women’s basketball team.

During his nine-year tenure at Xavier University, Mack was considered a candidate for some other major coaching jobs, but chose not to leave. “Some people say, ‘Why go there (to Louisville?). He’s crazy’. I have never been afraid of a challenge. I faced a lot of adversity during my playing years (including ACL injuries in both knees).  It was a tough decision but in my heart I knew it was the right decision.”

Mack said it was not his job to look backwards but to look forward.  “I told these guys (the UofL players) that this is my final stop,” he said. “I’m never going to coach at another university, not in the NBA, or in high school. I can’t wait to get started.”

Jaylen Johnson emerges, Louisville rips Evansville 78-49


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Jaylen Johnson has gotten a lot of playing time since he was a freshman, much to the puzzlement of some University of Louisville basketball fans. Sometimes wondering how long it would take for Johnson to become an offensive presence.

Coach Rick Pitino sensing something early about the 6-foot-9 junior forward from Ypsilanti, Mich., including his strength and exceptional energy. Giving Johnson all the time necessary to channel that energy, to eliminate the awkward moves, working within the system to become the player Pitino believes Johnson can be.

Johnson is getting closer to being that player if his performance in UofL’s 78-47 win over Evansville on Friday night is any indication. His best game since becoming a Cardinal, he would score a team-high and career-high 19 points.

Stepping up to provide some much-needed leadership on UofL’s front line, Johnson would connect on nine of 11 field goal attempts, including his only 3-point shot, while commandeering 14 rebounds and blocking three Evansville shots.

Johnson loves the fast pace, crediting Pitino’s emphasis on conditioning. “We are  going to play fast,” he said. “Coach tells us if we’re tired, the other team is exhausted.”

He also credited his teammates noting, “They were getting the ball to me at the right time,” he said. “I just thankful to be here, playing for a great coach.  We never know who’s going to have a great night.”

Like Donovan Mitchell, for example, who was almost equally effective and disruptive, scoring 15 points with five rebounds and four steals. And how about Anas Mahmoud, hitting five of five field goal attempts for 10 points while pulling down five rebounds.

A night of highlights for Johnson in this game, the kind of performance that Pitino has been expecting from Johnson since the beginning. Many more to come hopefully.