Why Is Jurich Talking Football Rebuild?

Athletic Director Tom Jurich tells the University of Louisville Athletic Association that the football program is in a rebuilding mode for the next two years, “I just want to get through them.”

Why would TJ feel compelled to make such a declaration to the athletic association at a critical time for next season’s ticket sales? Why, indeed, when U of L is making the push on loge seating sales to finance the stadium expansion?

Jurich’s remarks will not be helpful on either front. Or has U of L reached a point where fans are so staunchly loyal that the Jurich doesn’t have to worry about negative statements having an impact on ticket sales or stadium expansion?

Could it be that Jurich just wants to be upfront with fans? Or is he totally frustrated, needing to vent?

Why would he say anything at all? In all other sports, Jurich usually leaves such comments to the coach.

Tom has a reason for everything he says and does, knowing every action, every word will be scrutinized for weeks and months. The gut feeling here is that his latest utterance doesn’t bode well for the football program.

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Here’s a response to the above comments from a reader who identified himself as Tom (obviously not Tom Jurich). His comments make a lot of sense:

Let me offer some possibilities for Tom J’s “two- year warning” to Athletic Association members.

First let’s suppose that when Petrino bolted, he did so because he KNEW that he hadn’t stocked the closet well enough for the future since he didn’t expect to be here. Petrino may have also recruited some “marginal” players, ones I sometimes refer to as “gangsters”. These are quick fix guys who don’t go to class but can play football. They’re usually good for one, maybe two years. Another problem is that if they don’t get their own way, they’ll just lay down. Could be that Petrino spent too much time getting these guys and hiding the trouble they caused off the field. I repeat he KNEW he wasn’t going to be here.

I know…I know…I know…Petrino was a genius and all that dog dung but truly GREAT coaches recruit for the the best players they can for future REGARDLESS of whether or not they plan to plan to coach them. Self serving coaches have no regard for those who have to clean up after them.

Jurich knew Petrino could coach. His only error in judgement was in thinking that he was a QUALITY person.

Another possibility is that Jurich realizes that in order for Coach K’s system to work he has to have certain skill and position players that U of L simply does not have.

One thing is for sure – Louisville has not in the last 20 years recriuted deeply enough in the offensive lineman position. We’ve had some great ones, but never been deep enough. We’ve also not had the best offensive line coaches. That’s one reason why Chris Redman had his chin busted so many times that he spent his first 3 years in the NFL looking over his shoulder wondering if he’d ever be able to trust a left tackle again.

Petrino made it obvious that he was lousy at finding Big East quality linebackers. You can’t expect Ron English or Kragthorpe to fix that in one year.

Believe me I’m not making excuses for Krag. But when you think about what Petrino’s goals REALLY were, you see a guy who had absolutely, positively no interest in building for our future, just for his.

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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.

5 thoughts on “Why Is Jurich Talking Football Rebuild?

  • June 3, 2008 at 9:58 pm
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    Let me offer some possibilities for Tom J’s “2- year warning” to Athletic Association members.

    First let’s suppose that when Petrino bolted, he did so because he KNEW that he hadn’t stocked the closet well enough for the future since he didn’t expect to be here. Petrino may have also recruited some “marginal” players, ones I sometimes refer to as “gangsters”. These are quick fix guys who don’t go to class but can play football. They’re usually good for one, maybe two years. Another problem is that if they don’t get their own way, they’ll just lay down. Could be that Petrino spent too much time getting these guys and hiding the trouble they caused off the field. I repeat he KNEW he wasn’t going to be here.
    I know…I know…I know…Perino was a genius and all that dog dung but truly GREAT coaches recruit for the the best players they can for future REGARDLESS of whether or not they plan to plan to coach them. Self serving coaches have no regard for those who have to clean up after them.

    Jurich knew Petino could coach. His only error in judgement was in thinking that he was a QUALITY person.

    Another possibility is that Jurich realizes that in order for Coach K’s system to work he has to have certain skill and position players that U of L simply does not have.

    One thing is for sure – Louisville has not in the last 20 years recriuted deeply enough in the offensive lineman position. We’ve had some great ones, but never been deep enough. We’ve also not had the best offensive line coaches. That’s one reason why Chris Redman had his chin busted so many times that he spent his first 3 years in the NFL looking over his shoulder wondering if he’d ever be able to trust a left tackle again.

    Petrino made it obvious that he was lousy at finding Big East quality linebackers. You can’t expect Ron English or Kragthorpe to fix that in one year.

    Believe me I’m not making excuses for Krag. But when you think about what Petrino’s goals REALLY were, you see a guy who had absolutely, positively no interest in building for our future, just for his.

  • June 4, 2008 at 6:01 am
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    Just preparing us for the worst this yr

    Then 6-7 wins looks great…

    better than the total PR debacle last yr

  • June 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm
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    Coach Bobby Petrino came into Louisville when we were transitioning from C-USA to the Big East. The type and quality of players that were on the roster at that time needed an immediate upgrade. Coach Petrino went out to recruit BCS caliber players, but UofL didn’t have the winning reputation that it needed to win those players when recruiting against Michigan, Notre Dame and Flordia State. So Petrino took some chances on some kids – and he won a lot of football games with those players. He won enough to put Louisville ‘on the map’ (just ask John L Smith where we were on the football food chain prior to Petrino).

    I don’t know if he was already thinking of leaving (his actions through the years certainly would indicate that he was), but I don’t think that his career ambitions had any bearing on how he recruited, or his decision to leave when he did. I get so tired of hearing people complain about how Bobby Petrino left the UofL program in a shambles. He did his best to win games – and everybody LOVED him when he was winning.

    To turn around and kick at the man after he has gone on to bigger and better things (yes, the NFL qualifies as a step up from UofL – as does any head coaching job in the SEC), smells a lot like UK fans. Yes, the program is in a re-building mode after some serious transitional difficulties with the new caoching staff. Yes, it will take some time to get back to where we were.

    Can Coach Kragthorpe get us there? I haven’t really seen anything that makes me believe that he can. But at the same time I trust in Tom Jurich that he knows what it’s going to take and is working to that end. As long as we have Tom Jurich at the helm of the administration, the Louisville football program (an indeed the entire athletic department) is in very capable hands.

  • June 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm
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    Excellent observations as well, Jeff. Yeah, we enjoyed the winning and all the poundings we administered. Petrino is like some of those guys in corporations who will climb all over you to get what he wants, to hell with anything else. Probably thrives on being the bad guy in the headlines, having no real friends.

  • June 4, 2008 at 6:14 pm
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    While I agree with Tom that Petrino certainly was the only one who knew for a certainty that he wasn’t going to stay in Louisville and that surely must have affected his recruiting and many of his decisions, I am also grateful to Bobby for the job he did – trust me Jeff, Tom is my better half and he bleeds Cardinal red and ONLY Cardinal red – we have had conversations in which we both admit that even though we don’t like the type of person we found Bobby to be, we do NOT want to give our Orange Bowl trophy back. I agree that we have to trust TJ – in my humble opinion, Krag has Conference USA written all over him but TJ feels he is the man for the job- that’s good enough for me.

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