Punch In The Gut For Louisville Basketball

By Tom Stosberg

First order of business: the Jerry Smith and Terrence Jennings case.  Let’s review the customary rules of acceptable behavior for Division I basketball players.

Rule #1: Never put yourself in a precarious position where bad things are likely to happen.

Rule #2: If you are ever in that position, run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit before the police are called because your scholarship could very likely be at risk.Players

Most folks had assumed that it had already been proven earlier this year that when one uses bad judgment by putting oneself in a precarious position where bad things are almost certain to happen, those bad things absolutely will happen. Some players obviously missed that point all together.

Yes it’s true that we haven’t heard the players’ side of the story. We never will. Everything is “handled internally”. So one has been made one up for them here. Turns out that they were “on their way home from saying the Rosary at the church and stopped by the Alumni party to let everyone know they’d been praying for them. Then someone ran in and said all U of L fans were all bums. So they had to defend the fans’ honor.” Satisfied?

So both guys will be in the coach’s doghouse, pout and sulk for a while. Then, all of a sudden, they’ll have an epiphany, decide to reinvent themselves, “put it behind them.” All that means is “everybody can now forget the stupid things we did because we already have forgotten them and now we’re squeaky clean again.”

The Program hardly needed a punch in the gut right now. But many feared that this day would come. Punishment must be handled internally. It’s just too awkward for this coach to publicly punish any public indiscretion.

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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 “Punch In The Gut For Louisville Basketball

  • October 13, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    The so-called punch in the gut for Louisville basketball can hardly be considered more than a brushing off a leaf from the shoulder, except for the incredible overreaction by the uncovercover “security” police on hand.

    Tasering Jennings twice? What, they’re hunting big game in Africa or something? Locking up Smith for trying to offer an alternative to arrest?

    I understand you don’t “shove” a police officer or other people at a party. That will get someon’s attention. But, Jennings did NOT blow over the .08 Indiana breathalyser requirementr for one to be considered intoxicated.

    More than just a few college kids, whether they are UofL basketball players or political science majors are going to goof up most likely from time to time. It’s all part of the learning experience that takes you from high school to the real world after your college days are over.

    Run them hard after practice, give them some community service hours to serve and suggest they apologize for shoving a uniformed officer. Then, get their butts back out there and work them on shoving into the paint for baskets.

    It’s fall. A few leaves are going to drop. And they aren’t felons. They acted out at a homecoming party. Good thing those cops with tasers weren’t over in the green lot after the game…

  • October 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Well, it certainly wasn’t pretty, Paul, with the effect of putting the program in a negative light nationally again, within a few months of the revelation of another indiscretion.

    The question in my mind is who in their right mind tries to push a 6-10 guy around? Must have been some real nuts at that little get-together.

  • October 14, 2009 at 4:41 am

    I couldn’t agree more, Zag. It was probably the last thing the Cardinal Basketball PR camp wanted to see. Now, opposing fans have another round of ammunition when the Cardinals come to town. And, unless your crazy brave, blind drunk, death wish oriented or an NFL defensive linebacker, one has to wonder about the decision to get into a shoving match with a guy of Jennings size.

    And, what in the heck is going on with a homecoming party in Southern Indiana for UofL? Nevertheless, it pales in comparison to a situation like Devendorf beating up on a girl, Wall breaking into a house with his girlfriend or drinking all night in a bar and then deciding to hop in the car and go squirrel hunting.

    If anything, all it did was make the Cardinal bullseye on the back of the jersey a little larger when they hoopsters hit the road. Thick skins, deaf ears and nerves of steel will be just as essential as rebounding, three point accuracy and free throw consistancy this season.

  • October 14, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Paul, Jennings is 20, blowing over .01 for someone under 21 is enough to be considered intoxicated.

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