Kragthorpe Commitment Is Firm,

And Expansion Is Moving Ahead

This observer just completed a telephone discussion about the football coaching situation with a businessman who has been deeply involved with the University of Louisville for decades. In a position close to the university leadership, he understandably had to be careful about discussing personnel issues.

He did state, however, that Tom Jurich means exactly what he says about wanting to retain Steve Kragthorpe for the long term at U of L. Based on what he told me, there is no scenario in place under which Kragthorpe will gracefully resign or leave under any other circumstance. Jurich supports Kragthorpe and wants him to stay at Louisville.

This individual also reemphasized his support of Tom Jurich and his judgment on the issue, despite the growing criticism within the fan base. “Tom sees something in Steve Kragthorpe, just as he saw something in Bobby Petrino,” he said. “He believes in him, and it’s not a friendship issue.”

About the fan base criticism, he said: “I’m glad people care enough to complain. I would be concerned if they did not complain. Their criticism means they care deeply about the program.”

He also confirmed that the planned expansion of the football stadium will proceed on schedule. “We built Papa John’s stadium while during one of the worst periods (the Ron Cooper years) in UofL football history,” he said. “We have to expand and build for the future.”

The observer’s conclusion from the conversation is that U of L fans are going have to be patient, possibly for quite a while to see if Tom Jurich’s faith in Steve Kragthorpe is justified. Jurich obviously believes that he is a person who can work through the temporary disappointments and barriers while building a football program that commands national respect.

Just keep reminding yourself it may take a while.

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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.

7 thoughts on “Kragthorpe Commitment Is Firm,<br></br>And Expansion Is Moving Ahead

  • December 5, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    Well I’m sorry, but that is the worst news I’ve heard all day. The cratering of this program has been as swift as it has been complete. After another off-season of transfers and dismissals that is sure to follow the dumpster fire that is this season, and with no recruits willing to sign on for this coach, I doubt we’ll be able to field a team capable of more than 2-3 wins next season.

  • December 5, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    This is getting out of control. kragthorpe needs to leave our program. It will be better for his interest and ours. He needs to leave before he digs himself an ever deeper hole. At this time I’m sure he will be able to get another head coaching job at a smaller school but after another disturbing season at the helm, those option will soon vanish. For those people who say he deserves 3 or 4 years to turn our program around, I STRONGLY DISAGREE. How is he going to turn our program around with all walk-ons (whether they are his type of players or not) as we only have a handful of commitments which will probably be cut in half when English leaves for a head coaching position. Something needs to be done swiftly before it’s too late. Well, nevermind, it is already too late. I hate being an -hole about this situation but every thing this man does to our program pushes me closer and closer to that edge of HATE. Don’t make me HATE you Kragthorpe!

  • December 5, 2008 at 5:13 pm

    It is well served to take a wait and see approach to the whole football issue right now. First of all, Krags will be back next year. There is a solid nucleus of young players returning. Injuries were unkind to us this year and ask yourself this question…who would want to come here right now of any coaching excellence when they see how the situation is in meltdown currently? You’re expecting a Fulmer? The truth is this: Cardinal football was been in a lot worse shape, and Jurich is committed to giving Steve a chance to do it his way. Cry and moan if you must, but that’s the way it is, and just try to get behind whatever team is out there next year and show the players some love. Hate isn’t the answer, because fan opinion isn’t going to sway Tom’s opinion, and Krags isn’t leaving till Jurich tells him to. In the meantime,…it’s basketball seasonand let’s get behind those guys and gals!

  • December 5, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    We are doomed!

  • December 6, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Well, in another year, we’ll be even worse off, but maybe then TJ will be wise enough to realize Krag just isn’t cutting it. I’m not asking for national championships, I’m asking for a competitive team. A team that doesn’t give Syracuse 2 of its 3 division 1 wins in the last 2 years. I’m asking to not get stomped by Pittsburgh, Rutgers, WVU, etc. There is absolutely no excuse to only win one game in the BE. The funny part of it all is that as we plummet swiftly, Cincinnati is showing the correct way to build a program. Step one: get a coach that knows how to have a competitive team. Krag’s play calling is pitiful. You can’t win games waiting for the other team to make more mistakes that you.

  • December 6, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Thanks for the comment Jordan. I think we’re all in agreement on being competitive. I have questioned the play calling more than a few times. The fourth and one’s with Brock Bolen failing to make it would seem to indicate we didn’t have much going for us this season. Can’t wait to see how leading Ohio rusher Darius Ashley fares as a running back next year. Then there’s a young man named Jacques Caldwell from Texas with blazing speed. Couple of tools in the chest, not completely bare.

  • December 6, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I think the biggest thing about rebuilding is showing signs of improvement. I have a problem with a team that as the season goes on has all these sinceless penalties. Substitution penalties even after a timeout. Delay of game penalties after a timeout how does this happen. A long time fan can recognize one thing. These are all signs of a coach and his staff that is unorganized and has lost the focus and intensity of the team. Losing can be corrected but these things are signs that there may be a bigger problem than the quality of our players. Why has Tulsa continued to flourish and Louisville flounder since Coach got here. I kind of wonder if the good coaches may have been the cordinators he left behind.

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