Tom Jurich has his work cut out for him. He is, in fact, facing one of the toughest challenges of his career as he charts the future course of University of Louisville football.
This assumes, of course, that he is contemplating a coaching search to replace Steve Kragthorpe.
Not a simple task, considering the current coachâ€™s contract runs through the 2012 season. The university would have to fork over $4.5 million to Kragthorpe if he were to be fired for any reason other than misconduct.Â At the same time, Jurich needs to snare a big name coach who can return high levels of excitement to program, enough to fill the expanded stadium in 2010.
That would require significantly more money than what Kragthorpe was paid and what he would get if he were to ride off into the sunset.Â The observerâ€™s conservative estimate is that the total transfer of power would require a minimum outlay of $10 million and $15 million over a half dozen years.
Thatâ€™s really going to test the commitment of the movers and shakers to big time college football in Louisville. Many have already gone to the well for the stadium expansion and again for the downtown basketball arena (for which fans still await the winner of the naming rights lottery).
Jurich may be finding that to be a major challenge, according to at least one report, Even the deep pockets are feeling the economic difficulties these days and some of them may be wondering when they will get a return on all the money theyâ€™re already sinking into U of L.
These folks didnâ€™t make money by giving more away than they take in, you know.
Donâ€™t expect any help from Kragthorpe. His contract states that he would owe the university two million dollars if he quit before June 30, 2012, payable within 21 days of his final day of employment.