Joe Tresey has been hired as the new defensive coordinator for the University of South Florida football team. This is same coach who was fired by Cincinnati after the Bearcats went to the Orange Bowl during the 2008 season.

Tresey was let go when Brian Kelly when he learned that Tresy was being considered for a similar position at the University of Miami, according to a Tampa Bay blog.

“No question, it was a surprise,” said Tresey. “If you’re going to run in this profession, in this BCS deal, it’s different now. The times have changed. You know what you’re into, and if you’re going into stay in the hunt, you have to know it can happen.”

Tresey inherits a USF defense led by All-American defensive end George Selvie, which will have two new starters at linebacker and three in the defensive secondary. The Bulls ranked 10th nationally in total defense under Wally Burnham, who resigned to take the same job at Iowa State.

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Falling Off The Bandwagon — Fans have been staying away from Cincinnati basketball games in droves. This was the fifth consecutive year of declining attendance, reports a UC blog.

The Bearcats are averaging 7,756 fans through 17 home dates, – a 9 percent drop from last year’s 8,534.They rank 12th in the 16-team Big East Conference in attendance and have sold out only one game this season – the Crosstown Shootout vs. Xavier on Dec. 13. On an average night, 41.1 percent of the 13,176-seat arena is empty.

Attendance has fallen every year since 1999-00 when the Bearcats sold out the entire season with an average of 13,176. That slipped to 12,906 in 2000-01 but the average remained more than 12,000 until Bob Huggins’ final year in 2004-05 when it declined to 11,059.

The situation is going in the opposite direction in football, of course, with the Bearcats coming off one of their best seasons ever. Until the most recent season, UC had never sold out their allotment of tickets for visiting teams for a football game at Louisville, and rarely filled their home stadium.

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Senior Day At Marquette — Jereal McNeal, Dominic James, Wesley Matthews and Dwight Burke will say goodbye to Marquette basketball Saturday in a 1 p.m. game against Syracuse at Milwaukee. But the closing ceremonies will pale in comparison with the U of L’s if the following video is any indication:

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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.