Time To Reign In The Grousing

By Charlie Springer

Lots of people wanting to prolong the drama about the University of Louisville football coaching staff these days. Some seem to think that if they make enough noise Tom Jurich is going to change his mind about giving Steve Kragthorpe another year.

Yeah, like that’s really going happen. Reign it in a bit, folks, get behind the program. If it doesn’t work out, a new coach will arrive just in time for an expanded stadium.

People have always grumbled about losing. They just didn’t have Internet message boards to commiserate and commiserate, rehash and rehash the same old arguments, over and over and over again. The negativism is bound to wear thin sooner or later, leaving only the most  obnoxious to communicate, each attempting to be more nastier than the next.

Everybody else willl move on.

Unfortunately that’s down the road a bit. The sad thing about it is that all the bitching is bound to have a negative impact on recruiting.

This observer wants Kragthorpe to be successful. Not expecting any major turn around next season, but anticipating some signs of progress. If it’s not to be, one will look forward to supporting the next coaching regime.

*     *    *

Found this bit on sanity on Brian Bennett’s Big East blog:

Kevin Fritz from Louisville writes: With Latarrius Thomas and Matt Simms leaving Louisville, plus the growing turnover of coaches exiting and possibly being demoted, isn’t it obvious that Steve Kragthorpe has lost control of this program and needs to gracefully exit now? That way a new coach can be brought in and salvage what could be one of the school’s worst recruiting classes in recent memory.

Brian Bennett: That would be a wild overreaction. Nobody likes to lose players, but Matt Simms probably wasn’t going to start anyway, and Thomas has been plagued by injuries. The program will survive their defections.

And a little more on Tom Heiser’s Courier-Journal fan blog:

Simms’ big shot to make a name for himself next year, or even insinuate himself into a quarterback controversy this past season, went about as smoothly as his Tin Man delivery … With the addition of N.C. State transfer Justin Burke (the presumed heir apparant), JUCO standout Adam Froman, plus holdovers Tyler Wolfe and Zach Stoudt, the Cards are already employing the “kitchen sink” strategy at reviving the offense. One marginal, discipline-deficient signal caller off the roster is no great tragedy.

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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.

14 thoughts on “Time To Reign In The Grousing

  • January 10, 2009 at 7:43 am
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    I agree completely. Let’s not chase off Jurich as well as trying to push Kragthorpe out the door. We fans are not 1/10th as smart about this team and the program as we think we are. The best thing we can do to help this program is be patient and continue to support it.

  • January 10, 2009 at 8:00 am
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    K will get this year…

  • January 10, 2009 at 9:19 am
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    I like my sister’s philosophy about Cardinal football. Cheer for the players you like out there and hope they do well and stay healthy. Only Tom Jurich knows the futute of Steve Kragthorpe and that future is related to the success of the team. You have to be excited about the upcomimg season of watching Victor Anderson, Doug Beaumont, Trent Guy, Scott Long and Bilal Powell. I hope that their offense is enough to win games and the defense continues to improve. I also look forward to the battle for quarterback.

  • January 10, 2009 at 4:10 pm
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    Defections continue. Our new defense coordinator has left without seeing a practice. That makes three in two seasons. It has been said that he wants to be closer to his father but let me ask this? Which DC job has more job security, Kansas or working for K? Miller would appear to be a smart man and I wish him well.

  • January 10, 2009 at 9:34 pm
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    Please, it’s not negative to point out the obvious. Steve Kragthorpe is a mediocre coach at best. And a huge step back for what was a red hot football program. A team is well coached because they play like they are well coached. Regardless of talent or wins and losses. You can see good coaching in the way teams play. Organized, crisp, disciplined and with a burning will to win. That doesn’t exactly describe a Kragthorpe team does it?

    Sometimes reality is negative. That’s why changes are made to achieve positive results. Denying mediocrity doesn’t produce excellence.It produces more mediocrity.

    Kragthorpe’s on a collision course with getting fired the only variable is time.

    Go Cards,

    Lavernius

    (a Cards fan since back when Jurich was waddling around in soiled diapers.)

  • January 11, 2009 at 10:06 am
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    We’ll give credit for Krags keeping the football Cardinals in the media after college football season has ended. Whether he wanted this kind of media attention is doubtful. Love the players, love the game.

  • January 11, 2009 at 10:47 am
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    A friend tells me she has a relative who is a student staffer for the football team. The staffer told her the players gave up and quit after six games. What does that say about the coaching staff?

  • January 11, 2009 at 2:03 pm
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    I contend that it’s time for the opposite.
    More Grousing, more complaints, more noise more aggitation.
    Next year is going to be terrible. No spin or positive dreaming will change that.
    The mass exodus of both coaches and players is continueing this offseason, so that a program already short ~25-30 players will be even more hamstrung next season.
    And if complaining is hurting recruiting, what does the loss of three of the position coaches, who had their names on almost every one of our current commitments do? Do you seriously believe that Kragthorpe’s failure to even retain English’s replacement is going to impact recruiting less than the justified complaints of some message board posters?
    Do you believe that firing, (let’s be real, he is getting fired) Jeff Brohm, a man that has his jersey retired at Papa John’s is not going to affect recruiting?
    Let’s be real: There aren’t any positives about this team next season, outside of Victor Anderson. All the news out of the football complex has been negative for about 2 years now. This hire has been a failure of epic proportions. With the way things are snowballing, a change may need to be made simply to retain a team for next season. And you’re saying we shouldn’t be complaining about this situation?

  • January 11, 2009 at 3:44 pm
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    Name me ONE single thing Krag has done to “rebuild” and/or “fix” the program…….

    Just one in (2) full years (Jan. 9, 2007)….

    Hell, Bill Miller said screw it too, and he has been here for (14) years…….

    So ALL the players, fans, AND the assistants are all wrong about Krag,

    And we should not be concerned?

    Vaughn Parker (Mike Privott’s uncle who is handling his recruiting) called me yesterday, and I have NOT called ghim back, due to I am sure he is giving me 1st shot at breaking the Privott decommittment, or to ask what is going on at Louisville.

    Hell, I don’t know what to say to him, and when I talked to Privott at the Hilton Gardens homecoming game, he was here for English pretty much.

    Look to be picking up tickets for free at gas stations again like the Cooper Era next year, or 2010 at the latest.

    Actually, Cooper was BETTER than Krags. I swear to God, I wish we had Cooper right now….

  • January 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm
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    Difficult to argue with these last two posts since they occurred since the Miller resignation. The Brohm firing has yet to be made public so at least one more traumatic incident to go.

  • January 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm
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    Fast forward to the 2009 football season…

    We’ve had poor recruiting results, are short of depth and experience, have mostly new coaches, all untried quarterbacks, dissension in the player ranks.

    What are your expectations for the season, given these factors?

    Now rewind to the present…

    Who got our football program into this shape? Who is going to fix it? Will the fixes turn the program around?
    My answers, though you didn’t really ask: 4-8, Bobby Petrino, our next football coach, and who knows?
    I sure don’t see Koach as part of the solution–only a placeholder. That’s where I differ with TJ. Time will tell.

  • January 12, 2009 at 1:40 pm
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    I don’t expect much next season. But I also don’t want TJ firing football coaches after only two seasons. There will be life after next year, and possibly a new coach.

  • January 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm
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    Yes, I think you should stop complaining about the situation unless you can offer something more constructive than “fire Kragthorpe.”

    For example, suggest ideas for a replacement for Kragthorpe, or let us know who you think he should hire to replace English. Should Brohm keep his OC job? Why or why not?

    Where should he recruit players, besides Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio? Should he look for JC players? What sort of offense should he run?

    My point here is that specific criticisms at least offer solutions. If you want to complain, you need more than just “Kragthorpe sucks.”

    Since I became a Louisville fan, I have seen two very good coaches leave the program after promising to stay. Worse, the second one, in my view, intentionally used the program as a stepping stone–he knew he was leaving, so he developed player personnel to produce a spectacular run without regard for what would happen later.

    I think Jurich chose Kragthorpe because he wanted someone who would develop a program and stay around Louisville long enough to get buildings named after him when he retired. I also think he chose well: our head coach is qualified to coach at this level. He needs time to clean up Petrino’s mess.

    So I think it is only fair to give this guy a chance to play out the hand he was dealt, including Petrino’s exploitation of the program, the divisions caused by keeping some of Petrino’s coaches around, and injuries, among other bad cards.

    I don’t want to simply be an apologist for SK. For example, I was very disappointed that he played Hunter Cantwell almost every down, even after it was clear that he was ineffective, and that his poor play had in fact help turn a good start into a true rebuilding year. Still, broad “he sucks” attacks don’t help. Tell us what you would do differently.

  • January 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm
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    I, for one, think that Bellermine should develop a Div.1 program and let’s all throw out support to them. Look what Scotty Davenport is doing in basketball.

    Seriously, Paul has a seven point plan for “the resurrection of UofL football”
    He has written it down for me, and I will deliver it here. Please note, he has no interest in the job, since it would interfere with Friday Night bowling.

    1) Give Kragthorpe an ultimatum. Next year, you win _____ games or we’re going to ask you to leave. Paul thinks 6 is a good munber of wins. Opinion may vary on this.
    2) Tom Jurich has a list for everything. I’m sure he has replacement coaches in mind. If Krags fails to hit the number, let the top coach on the list know the job is opening and advise him to line up some assistants. If Krags hits the number, he gets a new number to shoot for.
    3) Fan support is going to drop this year, if it’s a bad year. Gotta get them back in what will be the enlarged stadium for the 2010-2011 season, so start up again with the discounted tickets, offer season ticket holders a reduction in price to renew. If it’s a good year, and attendance still drops do the same thing. Players like butts in the seats watching them and yelling for them.
    4) Resist the temptation to play anytime ESPN wants us to and try to go for a strictly Saturday schedule at home. Enough of this Tuesday and Wednesday stuff and playing on Friday. This is high school football night. It might be necessary at times to play other than a Saturday, but it better be a key conference matchup or UK game. No Northwestern Central State U. on Friday nights. This nonsense about potential recruits watching more on off nights is ridiculous. How many guys ever came to Louisville because they saw us on a Wedmesday night?
    5) Work the local area for recruits better than recently. UK is getting some pretty good football players out of the state. We should be in on these guys, too. I dare say a team consisting of St. X, Trinity, Male and Central grads could have done just as good as the train wreck we had last year.
    6) Quit the Petrino bashing. He’s gone and crying and pointing to what he did/did not do is pointless. It’s like me grousing that the Bears haven’t has a good QB since McMahon. (Which they haven’t) but somehow we made it to a Super Bowl a few years ago. Just let it go.
    7) Show up in these hard times and show the players that you still care about them. Cheer them on. Be as mad at the coach(es) as you want but givee the kids support. The recruits will notice. Shouting matches with players from the stands during a game is stupid. Like you could do any better?

    Well, there it is. Fire away at it, comment on what you like or don’t like about it. He knows tons more about the game than I ever will, and I like what he’s suggesting…as long as it isn’t about the Lady Cards.

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