Performance On The Field Will Be Telling

Believing anything football coaches say is difficult at best, especially after the Petrino years. Steve Kragthorpe says he wants to finish his career at U of L, but that came after he had obviously been talking to officials at SMU.

Kragthorpe was clearly less than forthcoming when he described the SMU talk as “total fiction.” Some informed sources in Dallas knew otherwise, already chalking it down as a fait accompli.

Reports (rumors) this week have ranged from a big announcement Friday about the imminent departure of the entire staff to a dismissing of all the old Petrino assistants. This would include Jeff Brohm and Greg Nord, two of the most loyal assistants ever to serve at U of L.

One wishing to give Kragthorpe the benefit of the doubt would have to believe him when he looks you in the eye and says he’s staying. The skeptic, however, has heard this before and wonders if it just another coach biding his time. I wouldn’t be surprised either way, given the lack of candor and overall lack of communication from the football offices.

The biggest clue will come from the performance on the field. There’s every reason to want to win this game, the departing seniors and the revenge factor above all. If the effort is a poor one, things have turned irretrievably sour, and the coach may no longer have a say in the matter.

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Any fans or analysts who have turned their total focus to basketball are letting the rest of us down. There’s some unfinished business here, folks. There’s too much at stake on the football front to ignore the sport that lifted U of L from the ranks of the mid-majors in the national media’s eye.
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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.

4 thoughts on “Performance On The Field Will Be Telling

  • November 29, 2007 at 7:22 pm
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    If the effort is a poor one, things have turned irretrievably sour, and the coach may no longer have a say in the matter.
    Are you saying that a lackluster effort tonight could mean the coach gets sent down the road?
    I would absolutely be flabbergasted if that were the case. I think the team could lay down dead and Kragthorpe would keep his job.

    The things that frustrate me most about Coach follow:
    Communication: He never gives any detailed answers to on the field problems. Repeated answers such as “We’ve got to get better”, “We need to get to the practice field and fix these mistakes”, and “We are in bad down and distance and we can’t have that” are simply lame and do little to give fans confidence that he can fix the problems.
    He was touted as a great communicator and a great all-around guy. I think he communicates poorly. When asked questions in press conferences or post game shows, he speaks very quickly and usually spouts the same old things as mentioned above. He also gives kurt answers to things he doesn’t want to answer.
    Early in the season he frequently stated that he would not make excuses for losses and the responsibility was his because he was the ship’s captain. Now he overtly blames an inexperienced defense, injuries, and unidentified (because he can’t talk about it) off the field problems as the cause for the teams struggles this year.
    He doesn’t show up for his own coaches show.

    I could go on about all of his sideline deficiencies – clock management, players not lining up properly, play calling, etc. But those have been beaten to death.

  • November 29, 2007 at 7:30 pm
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    Can’t disagree with anything you have said Scott. We can look for clues tonight. If Tom Jurich thinks it’s a hopeless cause, he will take some sort of action or allow something to happen.

  • November 29, 2007 at 9:06 pm
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    Tonight and these next few days–

    soap opera for guys

  • November 29, 2007 at 9:48 pm
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    No, please, let it be over.

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