Not Closure, But Open Season

Tom Jurich seems to be going out of his way to make sure the world knows that he stands behind football coach Steve Kragthorpe. The decisionmaker for University of Louisville athletics reinforced his support today for the third time in a week.

Funny, he needed a news conference to repeat what every UofL football fan already knew.

Tom Jurich
Tom Jurich

Makes you wonder what else is going on. It wouldn’t be the first time an athletic director has given a coach a vote of confidence and then axed him a few weeks later. But Jurich is not going fire a football coach after only two seasons for any reason other than unethical conduct. Doing so would make finding a successor much more difficult now than later.

While Jurich’s assumed purpose was to quell talk of a coaching change, he inadvertently or purposefully — only he knows for sure — may have reignited the speculation all over again. When asked if Kragthorpe would be returning, he replied: “Yes, Steve will be back next year … if he wants to be.”

That may be all the encouragement the Kragthorpe haters need to turn up the heat. My guess is that Kragthorpe has already decided, one way or the other.

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Construction on stadium expansion could conceivably begin as early as Monday. Jurich said only that construction would begin after the football season. This month? Next month? The guess here is the answer will come about the same time as the answer to the coaching question.

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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.

2 thoughts on “Not Closure, But Open Season

  • November 20, 2008 at 8:50 am
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    As Charlie mentions in the article, it should be abundantly clear now that Krags will be Jurich’s guy next year..unless, of course, he no longer wants to be that guy.
    This will create a even deeper divide among the “kool-aid drinkers” and the “krag bashers”….which isn’t good for the state of Cardinal football. The statement(s) by Jurich reinforce his belief that Cardinal football is rebuilding, and there is unfinished work ahead. I know, call me Ms. Obvious…but with alarming lack of recruiting commits and injuries at many key positions, one has to wonder if Krags has enough materials and laborers to do an effective reconstrution. Tom hasn’t given a timetable for the rebuilding, it’s obvious Krags won’t either…so we sit and wait.
    Fortunately, there are other Cardinal sports, namely basketball…to observe while we wait for the project to reach completion. I have a friend who has starting using the overworked adage “we’re a basketball school” again…the same friend who toasted the Cards with us in Miami 2 years ago and professed that we are well on the way to national dominance year in and year out in football. I know, a lot of things have floated under that bridge since then. Coaches. Players. Philosophies. My friend wants questions answered. What are the dark and deep secrets that lurked around the Petrino era? Can Krags recruit? Will we flop in the final two? Will Krags decide he’s had enough, and saunter off into the sun? They are valid questions, and ones that are on a lot of football Cardinal fans minds. One thing is for sure, we’ll get the answers only when the top of the food chain releases them for us to devour. The official company policy these days is to be a good Cardinal fan and have a little paitence and belief in the program, the coach and the future.
    Open season, indeed…Charlie, with many doors and few locks. Whether it’s a Indian summer or a arctic blast may well come to light in the next two games.

  • November 20, 2008 at 10:29 am
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    You know Charlie, you may have hit on something. Now that you mention it, I too think Koach may have decided that if he can’t succeed here, he will just leave. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if when he and Tj talked Krag said he would just leave if things don’t get better. I think that would be a kind thing to do – it would keep Tom from having to boot his friend out the door and the fans would be relieved. Speaking of coaches, I watched the Ball State/Central Michigan game last night and I WANT THE CENTRAL MICHIGAN COACH!!!!!!!!!! WA WA WA (that’s me crying and throwing a temper tantrum). Even though they lost last night, he has won 3 championships and that team is soooo well coached and “pretty” like we used to be – rock hard bodies with NO fat – fast and mean and first class down to their uniforms and sparkly helmets. Yeah. I want him to be our new coach. Butch Jones…..that’d be the guy. Go CARDS ,o)

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