Things have all but come to a standstill in the athletic department on Belknap Campus as best we can tell.
- Rick Pitino probably in Florida sipping martinis beside an exotic patio pool when he’s not attending basketball camps. Reflecting on the year that was, from ridding himself the Karen Sypher mess to developing a University of Louisville basketball team that became an all-time favorite. The same look in his eyes in July as was there in March.
- Charlie Strong keeping one eye on the weight room, the other on the telephone awaiting more telephone calls with good news from Clint Hurtt. Confident his team can continue to show improvement, but all too aware of the challenges that come with inexperienced offensive lines, quarterbacks, and wide receivers.
- Dan McDonnell recovering from a disappointing baseball season, but not losing 10 players in the Major League Baseball draft this time around. Not accustomed to mediocre baseball or slow bats, determined that the magic will return to Jim Patterson Stadium. Making occasional calls to Ken Lolla.
- Ken Lolla out making motivational speeches, sending inspirational tweets, wearing the Observer out with his eternal optimism. Hawking season tickets with that eternal scarf. Knowing it works, driving him and those around him. Enjoying a nice recruiting class, maintaining an iron-clad focus on a national soccer championship. Knowing how to get there.
- Jeff Walz crisscrossing the country for recruits, taking his kids to Walt Disney World, meeting himself coming and going, getting the women ready for exhibition games in Canada.
- Tom Jurich shaking the money trees for a 5,000-seat soccer stadium, expanded seating for baseball and women’s softball, occasionally pulling out plans for another expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Enjoying a second summer without all the Kragthorpe sniping. Life is good.
An all-too-brief reprieve from the spotlight for them. But the pressure is always there, eating at them, haunting them, motivating them, propelling them forward. A break from the fans, the fanaticism, the nuts, the analysts, the ups and downs. A time to recharge. The dog days will be gone soon enough.