The best news in a few weeks for University of Louisville fans is that Tom Jurich remains aggressive and totally committed.

With all the noxious fumes emanating from the basketball scandal and the attacks on President Jim Ramsey, the University of Louisville’s athletic director had been quiet for a while. Publicly, anyway. But he has obviously been busy behind the scenes.

Tom Jurich fully engaged.
Tom Jurich fully engaged.

Jurich broke the silence on Thursday, announcing a new seven-year contract extension for head football coach Bobby Petrino worth $30.625 million and averaging $4.375 million per season. He also updated fans on the $55 million expansion plan for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, reporting that almost $20 million has been raised, suggesting the stadium could possibly be completed in time for the 2018 season.

He obviously recognizes the importance of a successful football program to the university’s overall image, and will continue to be aggressive in ensuring that UofL will be a contender, not only in the Atlantic Coast Conference but on the national scene as well.

UofL’s athletic program has come a long way since the late Harry Jones was able to convince Jurich to come to Louisville in 1997. Were it not for Jones’ persistence — TJ turned him down four or five times — Jurich would still be out west. Colorado State, no doubt, would be in the Power 5 conference, celebrating numerous expansions and titles, instead of the obscurity the Mountain West Conference.

All of the turbulence engulfing UofL the past several months has had to have an effect on Jurich. Two of his closest associates — Jim Ramsey and Rick Pitino — have been under constant attack.  If ever there was a time for him to consider other options, no one would have blamed him if he had chosen to do so. He had to hurt personally by the sex scandal within the basketball program and mystified at the illogical attacks on a school administrator who has done wonders for the university, rivaling what Tom has done within the athletic program.

One also has to believe that he remains as privately supportive of Ramsey as he is publicly of his basketball coach.

Back in February, however, Jurich dismissed speculation that he had any interest in a vacancy at the University of Southern California, one of the most prestigious jobs in college athletics. “People say what they want because I’m from there . . . I’m staying right where I am,” he told a local TV station.

There will always be speculation in sports, but one has every reason to believe Jurich when he says he loves the University of Louisville, calling his current position the best job in college athletics. He has made possible some tremendous highs for the school while experiencing more than his share of extreme lows at the university.

Tom Jurich obviously has even bigger plans for the university.

Charlie Springer

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

2 thoughts on “Jurich breaks silence in a big way

  • April 17, 2016 at 7:39 pm
    Permalink

    We’re not out of the woods yet on a few issues but Tom Jurich is staying out front on building greatness into the program. We’re still going to suffer the embarrassment of getting a notice of allegations from the NCAA and the ensuing round of blogs, newspaper, radio talk shows that are inevitable. But thank goodness, we may be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. We are fortunate to have Tom’s continuing guidance and vision for the future.

  • April 18, 2016 at 10:42 am
    Permalink

    I can take the coming taunting, because I believe in U of L for what I know it to be and that can not be changed by the rudeness of others; but, this interminable wait for the investigation results is a most unkind torment.

Comments are closed.