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Some long-awaited insight may have finally been provided into the dramatic shift that occurred in the University of Louisville’s football fortunes after Steve Kragthorpe succeeded Bobby Petrino as head coach. 

Eric Crawford, former Courier-Journal columnist and current WDRB analyst, interviewed several former UofL players off the record for an in-depth analysis. Petrino apparently instilled such fear in players that, even now, they need assurance their identities will be concealed. 

The piece also sheds some light on possible reasons why players under Kragthorpe were mysteriously being benched for games or later dismissed from the team without any explanations.

The logical conclusion is that Petrino and Kragthorpe had different approaches for dealing with substance issues. Doing it the right way may have been the wrong way for one and the wrong way the right way for another … with strikingly different results in the wins and losses columns.

Link to must reading for U of L football fans.

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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.

One thought on “Crawford on Petrino and the fear factor”
  1. I’m going to shorten this story to this:

    I was talking to a former UofL athlete during Krapthorpe’s first season (before the Syracuse fiasco I should add) and I said I was worried about how all the players kept saying Krapthorpe’s a players coach. Before I could go any further he said to me that means there is no disciplne, no fear of doing the wrong thing, no fear of not doing the right thing.

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