Every university’s athletic department probably has its share of challenges, and the University of Louisville is no exception. The mystery surrounding the accusations against Rick Pitino by a serial accuser, the defection of Jeremy Tyler, the future of Steve Kragthorpe, the football program, just to acknowledge some prime examples.
Gotta have some controversy. People love to grouch, love to complain. That’s an unfortunate commentary on these days of our lives. The observer not in grouchy mood today, however, except about grousers. U of L fans are very fortunate in that their university has:
- An athletic director who doesn’t cave in to the lowest common denominator in the fan base. One who would never stoop to hiring someone suspected on the sleazy edge when it comes to recruiting.
- A basketball coach who doesn’t resort to questionable recruiting practices. Has to be sneering at them privately, but says nothing publicly.
- An athletic director with the vision to identify facility needs and the ability to acquire the resources to make them possible, often able to overcome powerful political opposition while acquiring new allies and supporters in the process.
- Business leaders and fans who get personally involved in U of L but don’t try to dictate how the university runs its operations. Many generous givers, among them Owsley B. Frazier, David Jones, John Schnatter, Jim Patterson, Bernie Dahlem, Dan Ulmer, Steve Trager, Bill Stone, just to name a few. Jones and Schnatter were a little upset about the location for the basketball arena, but they let it go and remain supportive.
- An administration that doesn’t think it has to spend millions of dollars to dominate the Louisville media, and is savvy enough to recognize that technology is reshaping the way people get news and information.
- An athletic program with good facilities for both genders. The female athletes have added a welcomed dimension to a campus where the lack thereof was obvious for decades.
- A growing base of young fans, kids attracted by the university’s success over the last few years in men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and, yes, football. Volleyball, softball, too. Children born to U of L fans, a whole new generation of U of L fans coming along, assuring continued growth in future generations.