Predictably Jim Ramsey is in the crosshairs of some angry University of Louisville fans for inflicting a self-imposed post-season ban on the basketball program. Some calling for him to be fired, believing his actions were premature and overreactive.

As good as Ramsey has been for the University, the man has earned the right to be respected for seeking to resolve a very difficult situation. The healing had to begin at some point, the sooner the better.

Jim Ramsey
Jim Ramsey

The full results of the investigation won’t be known for several months. Ramsey is the person charged with the school’s overall well-being. As the chief executive, he is expected to make the hard decisions. Having seen the facts, he had no choice but to follow through on his instincts. That’s what leaders are expected to do.

The athletic program has been a great source of pride for Ramsey, as has the school’s impressive academic and facilities growth in his 13-year tenure, in which the endowment surpassed $1 billion for the first time.  He is a hands-on leader, loving the work, treasuring the University, taking it to new heights. He has always been highly visible across campus and at athletic events.

He may made a few mistakes, and others have made mistakes that reflect upon his leadership. But that comes with the job. Fortunately, he has some thick skin, able to absorb criticism while still enabling the University to achieve one milestone after another.

The decision to self-impose a ban on post-season tournament had to be extremely difficult for him. But there should be little doubt that he is doing what he believes is best for the long-term future of the University. That is his job, after all, and he’s done it well. Rushing to judgement to condemn Jim Ramsey when he’s the person best informed of what actually happened in the basketball controversy is foolish.

Whether or not he decides to stick around with all the chaos that will occur over the next few weeks and months, Ramsey has embraced his leadership role in ways never before imagined by the community. He has set the standard for leadership at UofL that his successors can only hope to emulate.

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By Charlie Springer

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

6 thoughts on “Jim Ramsey tackles toughies head on at University of Louisville”
  1. Of course, Louisville fans are crestfallen at the latest developments in the NCAA investigation, but to blame U of L President James Ramsey for his recent actions is just ludicrous. With lots of resources at his disposal for advice and consultation, the university leader is, by no means, acting unilaterally. Rather he is trying to appease the NCAA and, in doing so, attempting to salvage what he can of a bad situation that is likely to get worse before it is over.

  2. Some truth to appeasing the NCAA, no way around it. But he’s also dishing out the worst possible punishment to Rick Pitino, denying him a shot at another NCAA title. Worse than getting fired for a coach with Pitino’s ego. Rick knew he had a legitimate shot again this season with all the parity in college basketball. He had the talent to do it again. Maybe if hadn’t been so outlandish over the Las Vegas job rumor, Pitino wouldn’t be incurring the indignity he is experiencing right now. Ramsey sent the coach a clear message about who is in charge.

  3. Dr. Ramsey would never do anything to hurt U of L, his record speaks for itself. In my humble thinking when the truth comes out we will still never really know what happen. One thing for sure is five year from now it will be all
    over with.

  4. Dr. Ramsey has worked to improve Louisville’s academic reputation, and financial security. I graduated in 1977 on that worn out unimpressive campus, which has been replace by our current beautiful campus. I remember when our accreditation was in question , due to an inadequate library. How quick the mob forgets who fixed these concerns. Under Dr. Ramsey leadership we are now an ACC member, have a Billion dollar endowment, play basketball in the YUM, play football in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, and has greatly increased our research facilities. I absolutely support the greatest President that has ever serve the University of Louisville. My only complaint is Dr. Ramsey needs a new hair stylist! In summary, we have to many cry baby fans!

  5. Charlie: I share your view on Dr. Ramsay. I hate seeing him having to go through all this misplaced anger from so many sides. You put it so well when you put he’s a victim of his own success. Were he the President of UK, he would be a statewide hero.

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