The University of Louisville basketball program, after reaching some biorhythmic peaks in March, is drifting and tumbling in the downward spin. The ups and downs of physical, emotional and intellectual cycles are converging at the lowest point.

  • First comes the surprising news that Richard Pitino, who was quickly becoming a highly effective recruiter, was leaving Louisville to join Billy Donovan at Florida. Nobody says anything publicly, have to read about it on a Fox blog. No goodbyes, no thanks for the memories, just see ya later.
  • Then the shocking news that a woman had been trying to extort Rick Pitino with yet-to-be-made-public accusatbiorhytms1ions, embarrassing the family, the team, the university and the fan base while also putting her spouse in a no-win situation. Very little communication from the coach, sheer nonsense from his accuser, each apparently fearing the litigation cycle, hence the mumbo jumbo from the legalites. Pitino had to have been distracted somewhat during the NCAA Tournament, thanks to a bumbling bombshell wannabe.
  • The latest is that 2010 U of L commit Jeremy Tyler, a 6-foot-11 high school junior whom some consider the best big man since Greg Oden, will skip his senior year to play professionally in Europe, according to the New York Times. “If you’re really focused on getting better, you go play pro somewhere. Pro guys will get you way better than playing against college guys,” he said. Duh, the fount of all wisdom. Tyler’s questionable judgment amounts to a momentum breaker in what was shaping up to be an incredible recruiting class, a reminder of days gone by.

Strange, unbelievable and unpredictable stuff. One can only hope that this downward cycle hits bottom sooner rather than later. Going to be an interesting off season.

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Charlie Springer

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

9 thoughts on “Louisville Basketball Stuck In Down Cycle

  • April 23, 2009 at 7:58 am
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    And just where do the LADY Cards team and coach fall on this graph??? Thanks to them, the NCAA tournament season for us was salvaged and gave us hope for future hoops in the Derby City. Right, Sonja?

    • April 23, 2009 at 9:39 am
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      You may have a good point there.

  • April 23, 2009 at 11:29 am
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    Charlie,
    Don’t be to quick to post judgement on this Tyler kid leaving the program. He was a top ten kid no doubt, but the #1 kid Josh Smith is still a potential Card. I was surprised to see Smith was even considering the Cards after Tyler committed but Siva and T-Will have done a heck of a job on this kid. The Pitino situation is going to sting a bit but once the new season starts it will be a thing of the past. As for Richard, well he had to go elswhere to prove his worth, and I still beleive he could be Rick’s replacement in a few years.

  • April 23, 2009 at 2:42 pm
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    But just be glad the basketball program didn’t have any major injuries to deal with this past season. First time in a long time that I can remember that being the case!!!

  • April 23, 2009 at 3:09 pm
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    I wonder why the university as a whole is going downhill. Let’s see. You can get a Doctorate by paying money. You can get any degree you want from U of L if you have the correct amount on the check. The university is trying to tax the students by making them enter into contract for food service by Sodexho. A contract that they must buy for food the might not want. Forced food purchases. Nice! The Robert Felner scandal and how it was attempted to be covered up.

    Now we got the Saint Rick situation where Rick made a public example of a woman and released the information. Yet we dont know her side of the story. Its easy to make something public yet we dont know her side. We don’t know the facts about this but he did launch a pre emptive strike. Tim Sypher claimed his ex wife made Bizarre allegations without ever saying what those allegations were. Rick claims to have been extorted. Yet we don’t know anything about Karen Sypher other than what the media was saying. Where is the truth in all of this? What is the truth and where is the truth? Yet somehow they have demonized her in the news media and basically she is the victim in that she has been smeared without no trial, without no side of her story, and without any criminal charges or facts. Looks like the local media dropped the ball on this. And why did Richard go to Florida?

  • April 23, 2009 at 3:45 pm
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    If I were either the accused or the accuser, and it kind of hard to tell who’s who in this case, I would want as much privacy as possible. If someone makes accusations against your family, you are going to fight back. Pitino went to the right people when he was extorted. She hasn’t outright denied she was extorting him. When it comes to reputations, public or private figures, people have the obligation to defend themselves in the best way possible. We don’t need to know all the dirty details in people’s private lives.

    As for the review board, the recipient appears to have satisfied the academic requirements for the degree whether he spent the normal time required on campus. If the CJ editorial board comes out against you, you have probably done something right.

  • April 23, 2009 at 9:05 pm
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    Obviously, the Lady Cards would chart a high spot on Charlie’s cycle graph, but I think he was just concentrating on the men’s program.

    As far as the Lady Cards go, they will have a few months to condition and work without instruction, then the real deal begins. There are many things that need to be answerwed. Obviously, who steps in for Candyce and Angel is one question, but there areother things that Walz will have to fine tune.

    The Tise question is one of them. The reports are that she’s way overweight. The NCAA will need to decide if she gets the full year. How will she fit into Walz’s plans if she is cleared and what exactly will “Walz Ball” look like next year without Candyce and Angel?

    All in good time. Let’s enjoy the rest of spring and the summer. Rest assured the returning players know that with possibly six new teammates joining them, competition for starting spots will be intense.

  • April 24, 2009 at 7:27 pm
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    I am going to lie awake in bed all night figuring out how to blame all of this on Kragthorpe. Given what he has done to the football program it can’t be that far fetched to blame everything else on him.

  • April 24, 2009 at 10:02 pm
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    I sure understand why Tyler Wolf is leaving and I don’t blame him – best of luck to you Tyler. As for the Pitino story and all the rest, I am SICK about it. I hope it all blows over and that this mess with Pitino doesnt’ cost us our coach. I don’t want to even know about his private life; I just want him to coach BB at the U of L. As far as Jeremy not coming to U of L = not a big deal…he would have been one and done anyway – I wish him the best. Go CARDS!

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