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OCTOBER 3, 2017 VOL. 92 NO. 7 FREE

DALTON RAY @DRAY5477

In the wake of Rick Pitino’s fallout, U of L interim President Greg Postel announced assistant coach and former Cardinal David Padgett is the interim head coach for the 2017-18 season. The youngest coach in program history, Padgett said he is not involved in the current FBI investigation.

LOUISVILLECARDINAL.COM @THECARDINALNEWS

“I can assure that for myself,” Padgett said. “I don’t think Dr. Postel would have the confidence to put me in this position if he was worried about anything.” The new staff will be determined once the university hires an interim athletic director. Padgett said team could potentially be shorthanded in terms of coaches. Padgett reiterated during the press conference that the players were his main focus. Impressed by their enthusiasm, he called the players unique and resilient. Padgett wants to nurture

a sense of normalcy for the team in the midst of controversy. “At the end of the day, what it comes down to, for me personally, is the 14 guys that are in our locker room. They’ve had a tough, tough couple days but they are the reason that we’re here,” Padgett said. “Me doing this is for them.” Padgett has been on the U of L staff since 2014, starting as an assistant video coordinator. He also worked as director of basketball operations before becoming an assistant coach. Prior to U of L, Padgett spent three

years as an assistant with IUPUI from 2011-14. A three-year starter at U of L, Padgett transferred to Louisville after playing his freshman year at Kansas. A First Team All-Big East select, Padgett ranks second in career field goal percentage at U of L. Considering Louisville his home, Padgett says he is confident that the city will rally around the players this season. “There’s not a better group in the world I would’ve picked to go through this season with,” Padgett said.

GRAPHIC BY MITCHELL HOWES / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL


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President’s office drained more than half its budget allows us the opportunity to build bridges with our high-level donors and potential partners who in turn contribute significantly to the success of the university.” The foundation said it would monitor the operating budget alongside the president’s office going forward. The university has struggled to retain donors as scandals and controversies cloud the school’s image. In its June meeting, the foundation said the donor numbers have dropped and donors are waiting for the university to correct itself. In its financial report released yesterday, the foundation said it’s received $5.4 million in gifts by June and the market value of its endowment grew by $5 million.

KYELAND JACKSON @KYELANDJ

When U of L’s Foundation charted the operating budget for the president’s office, it budgeted $162,000 to be spent by August. Instead, Interim President Greg Postel’s office has spent twice that, with $377,000 spent on football and basketball tickets in July alone. The ULF released reports detailing the spending Sept. 28. According to the report, Postel’s office spent $491,000 between tickets and the president’s football suite. U of L spokesperson John Karman said the costs were important to court donors. “This expense plays an important role in our philanthropy efforts,” Karman said. “Hosting these events Interim president Greg Postel.

FILE PHOTO / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

Students, community ready to move past scandals @KYELANDJ

Following news of U of L’s involvment in an FBI investigation, administrators placed its athletic director and men’s basketball head coach on administrative leave. Greg Postel, U of L’s interim president, put Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich on leave Sept. 27. Postel said interim replacements for Pitino and Jurich would be announced within 48 hours, and also said a player involved in the FBI investigation is suspended from play. The following Friday, Sept. 29, David Padgett was announced as the new interim basketball coach. Reactions were swift as dozens of media personnel surrounded Postel for the announcement. Lights and cameras trained on Postel and David Grissom, chair of U of L’s board of trustees, illuminating the cardinal logo on the wallpaper behind them. Among those from the media was Billy Reed who’s covered sports for decades. Though they were suspended, Reed says Jurich and Pitino will be gone soon and said the move is necessary to reset the university’s image. “It just pains me to see what’s happened, but for the good of the university … I think that the time has

...the time has come that the university has to make some serious changes. — Billy Reed

KYELAND JACKSON

come that the university has to make serious changes,” Reed said, instructing Pitino and Jurich to follow their consciences. “If you really mean that the best interests of the university are -- if that comes first, then do what you can to prove that.” Before the conference, students stopped and stared at media members prepping through the glass entryway. Some took photos, others entered and watched the conference. According to a TLC poll which ended Oct. 1, 42 percent of respondents said Pitino and Jurich should be fired. More than 30 percent said only Pitino should be fired. TLC’s poll tallied 238 respondent’s answers.

Three students who watched had a personal stake in the discussion, as hockey players at U of L. U of L senior Grant Hennessy is one of those three students. Hennessy said they came to hear what would happen and said putting Pitino and Jurich on leave was a good decision. “They’ve both done a lot for this school, but sometimes good things have to come to an end. But, we’ll have to see where that goes,” Hennessy said. Sophomore Jared Deflippo agreed with Hennessy. Deflippo didn’t ex-

pect this when he left Connecticut for U of L, and he’s disappointed by ongoing negative news about the university. “As a student, obviously, you want your school to do well and be thought of in a good way,” Deflippo said. “I came here for the sports culture, to hopefully see them succeed [in] basketball and football, but obviously it’s taken a step in the wrong way with basketball with what’s going on today.” After the announcement, two recruits withdrew their commitment to U of L.


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NEWS

OCT. 3, 2017 LOUISVILLECARDINAL.COM

Court dismisses Bevin’s board of trustees case SHELBY BROWN @BROSHEA91

The Kentucky Supreme Court dismissed the case on Governor Matt Bevin’s authority to abolish or reorganize U of L’s Board of Trustees. The court declined a ruling because Bevin had rewritten the law, empowering him to reorganize the board. Bevin’s office released a statement on Twitter commending the court’s decision, saying it underscored the Governor’s original commitment to reform the board. “Today puts an end to Attorney

General Andy Beshear tossing the future of the University of Louisville around like a political football,” Bevin’s Twitter statement said. Despite the case being called “moot” by the courts, Beshear considers this a win. On Twitter, Beshear said until Sept. 28, Bevin claimed authority to dissolve a university board at will. “Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, Governor Bevin can no longer use the reorganization statute to dissolve a university board, an action that had dire consequences for the University of Louisville,” Beshear said in a statement.

Beshear said the ruling provides protection for all Kentucky universities going forward. In June 2016, Bevin used the Reorganization Statute to dissolve and reassemble U of L’s board of trustees. The shake up put U of L on its accrediting agency’s radar for violating governance standards. Beshear challenged Bevin in circuit court last year, asking the courts to block the governor’s new trustee appointments. “I challenged the governor’s action in court, not just because of what happened to U of L, but if he had done it to U of L, he could do it to any other

university,” Beshear said in a Twitter video. According to Beshear, Bevin was bailed out when the General Assembly wrote two new laws this year. Senate Bill 107 gave the governor power to dissolve the university’s board. Senate Bill 12 officially disbanded the board. Beshear said that while the case was dismissed, Bevin is not allowed to use the statute again to reorganize any public university. “It means the governor has to follow the law,” Beshear said.

Postel testifies in Frankfort on “state of the university” versity a “preeminent metropolitan research university” by 2020, the plan After fallout from an FBI investi- charts. He also cites growing student gation into paying recruits to join its diversity, increased enrollment in basketball program, U of L Interim the Speed School of Engineering and President Greg Postel delivered a strides in the U of L research commu“state of the university” testimony to nity. lawmakers in Frankfort Sept. 28. Postel briefly touched on scandals Much of what Postel focused on affecting the university. Despite prowere positives the university can bation with the Southern Association boast of. of Colleges, Postel said U of L has had These include the “2020 plan,” a a stagnant tuition enrollment rate. step-by-step plan to make the uniJANET DAKE @JFRO98

Postel stayed for a question and answer session with senators and representatives. Senator Stephen West asked Postel to clarify the nine requests the SACS asked U of L to address, specifically the two which have not been resolved, and what steps the university was taking to fix them. According to Postel, these requests include a document of understanding between the university and the U of L

foundation and an update on the hiring process, forwarding more background information on interim staff. Postel says these issues are being addressed. Representative James Tipton applauded Postel before posing his questions, thanking him for his professionalism in a difficult role which he expects is becoming more challenging than Postel could have anticipated.

“Voices in Violet” brings awareness to domestic abuse JANET DAKE @JFRO98

Engage Lead Serve Board hosted “Voices in Violet: Why I Stayed,” a slam poetry event meant to raise awareness about domestic violence and abuse, on Sept. 25. Organized by the Public Safety Committee of ELSB, several U of L students, faculty and community members gathered in Bigelow Hall explore the trauma that domestic abuse victims face through spoken word. ELSB Public Safety Director Natalie Shields was one the main coordinators of this event. Shields said the inspiration behind this event was October being domestic violence awareness month. “We wanted to do something to honor that and kick it off,” Shields said. “It’s obviously an important issue, one that doesn’t always get talked about as much as it should.” Beyond this, Shields said she

thought slam-poetry was a unique way to talk about this issue. “There’s a lot of emotions that go into domestic violence, whether that be anger or sadness,” she said. “So poetry and the spoken word are really good ways to convey that emotion, and bring awareness to it in a way that everyone can appreciate.” “Voices in Violet” was hosted by Lance Newman, a prominent member in the Louisville poetry community. He is the founder and director of SpreadLove Enterprise and is executive director of Young Poets of Louisville. Newman spoke in between poets at the event, performing a few of his own pieces about his personal struggles with an abusive stepmother, and the different forms domestic abuse manifests itself in. “There’s a difference between teaching someone a lesson, and just totally making that person afraid to be around you,” he said.

Several songs were performed by participant Tatiana Wells-Smith, about healing through her Christianity. After scheduled performances by Newman and fellow Louisville poets Phillip Lentsch and Kierra Tanett, the floor was opened to an open-mic for audience members.

Students got up to recite poetry they had written and to speak openly about their personal struggles or opinions about domestic abuse. Booths for U of L organizations that deal with domestic abuse, among other things, were at the event. These included the Women’s Center, the Counseling Center and ELSB.

PHOTO COURTESY / ENGAGE LEAD SERVE BOARD


NEWS

OCT. 3, 2017 LOUISVILLECARDINAL.COM

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College of Arts and Sciences still thriving despite cuts @CARDINALNEWS

On Sept. 29 faculty assembled to hear the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Kimberly Kempf-Leonard speak about what this year holds for the college. “School year 2017-2018 will also be a bridge year in hopes of forging a positive future for U of L,”KempfLeonard said. With 52 percent of all U of L firstyear students, the College of Arts and Sciences is the biggest college on campus. However, being the most populous means taking the biggest budget cuts. “We do a lot of the work, but take the most hits financially,” Assistant Professor of Spanish Clare Sullivan said The college providing the foundation for students through general education classes are receiving fewer resources than other, smaller schools on campus. The budgeting future for both the College of Arts and Science and U of

L continues to look grim. After a $48 million dollar budget shortfall was discovered in spring of 2017, sweeping cuts were made to all colleges in the university. Arts and Sciences, being the largest, took the

We do a lot of the work, but take the most hits financially.

still has an 80 percent retention rate even with the highest concentration of students,” Kempf-Leonard said. Kempf-Leonard continued recognizing faculty, staff and student accomplishments. She emphasizes that even though the university in struggling, Arts and Sciences continues to thrive. New efforts have been implement-

ed to help to college bounce back financially. Additions such as a winter term and Belknap academic building, will help with student retention rates and tuition revenue. “The College of Arts and Sciences has been transparent and has been able to help the university despite struggles and it will continue in that way,” Kempf-Leonard said.

LYNDSEY NEWMAN

— Clare Sullivan

biggest financial hit. U of L is expecting more cuts as Governor Matt Bevin plans to continue reducing funding for higher education institutes in Kentucky. Despite all this news, KempfLeonard gave hopeful statistics. “The College of Arts and Sciences

Dean of Arts & Sciences Kimberly Kempf-Leonard. ARRY SCHOFIELD / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

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FEATURES OCTOBER 3, 2017 | PAGE SIX

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OCT. 3, 2017 LOUISVILLECARDINAL.COM

ROTC cadets show support for U of L and football

FEATURES

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From where you are now to earning your degree.

PHOTO BY TARIS SMITH / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

MADISON THOMPSON @THECARDINALNEWS

University of Louisville ROTC cadets showed support at the Clemson football game, Sept. 16, at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. When the Cardinals scored, more than 14 cadets rushed out onto the field and executed push-ups, one pushup per point. “We do push-ups when we score … obviously, everyone wants us to do a thousand push-ups. Hopefully, we do enough to win the game,” said cadet Caroline Duplessis. “It just supports our partnership with U of L and ROTC, which couldn’t be any better because we’re on campus and it’s good to get out there to show our support.” Cadets not only performed push-ups, but also served during the Card March and the Color Guard. “We’re here to support the school. They asked us to come out to do the Color Guard. This game, the Air Force is doing it, but we do it for a lot of other games, such as the soccer games and the volleyball games,” said Cadet Rachel Biermen. “We also do the Card March at the beginning of the game.” Cadets participate in supporting athletic events as well as studying at the university to complete their degrees and becoming future leaders in the Army.

“ROTC requires a lot of time commitment and dedication. We do PT almost every morning at 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. before our classes. We have actual classes that we go to. We go to two-hour labs on Wednesdays, where we work on our tactical development and our leadership development,” Turner said. Through all of the hard work, cadets still enjoy their time. “I do enjoy my time in ROTC. It’s a lot of work but, at the end of the day, it’s so worth it. The people you meet in the Army. It’s like a family and the people in the Army make it worth it. Also, the leadership training is awesome. I love the aspect of doing something for others,” said Duplessis. The joint cooperation between U of L and the ROTC program serves many purposes. “We get to show how awesome we are by doing push-ups and, at the same time, we also get to go out there to the front line when the team is walking by. We get a lot of recognition with that and people ask a lot of questions, which is a good time to promote the program,” Turner said. “We really want to emphasize that we are students here,” said Bierman. “We’re not just Army members at your school. We’re integrated into the school; that’s our job.”

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OPINION OCTOBER 3, 2017 | PAGE EIGHT

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Death penalty is the only savior for U of L men’s basketball @DRAY5477

Once again, the U of L men’s basketball program is being dragged through the mud. When news broke at 9:30 a.m on Sept. 26 that four college coaches were arrested by the FBI for fraud and corruption, Louisville fans everywhere took a deep breath. Rifling through the article, no Louisville coaches were mentioned, so a sense of relief washed over fans. Within the next hour, that relief transformed back into disbelief. This time it was worse. Two U of L coaches allegedly participated in illegally recruiting players by offering money. While this act is bad enough, it was allegedly done while the program was on probation and in the middle of an appeal with the NCAA to save the 2013 national title. This takes it to another level. According to the indictment by the FBI, one U of L assistant coach said they had to keep this “low key” because of the school’s probation. This is truly unbelievable. Growing up, I was a U of L fanboy. My team could do no wrong. They didn’t cheat. They played by the rules. As I began my college journalism career, my objectivity developed. Still, my fanboy-ness shined through in certain topics. When I was the assistant sports editor, news of the stripper scandal hit. I couldn’t believe it. Katina Powell was just out for money and this would blow over. Coach Rick Pitino couldn’t let this happen. Then I sat in the press conference when Pitino, director Tom Jurich, former U of L President James Ramsey and investigator Chuck Smrt announced the postseason ban, admitting what happened was true. At that point, I distanced myself from the university and the athletic department I love. Since that day, I stopped claiming the University of Louisville as “we” or “us” when referencing the team. That punch hurt, bad. That press conference showed me that one’s true passion, U of L athletics in my case, could simply be a game to some -- a dark day in my fandom. Even then, as a fan of the program, I had faith in Pitino.

What pains me even more to say is the program needs the death penalty. Clean house. Start over.

Watching Pitino in person fight with passion in several press conferences was enough for me to believe. The fire in his eyes that lit anytime someone mentioned the scandal sold me. Sure, call me a homer. I never denied the accusations once the proper evidence was brought to the table, but I still had faith in Pitino. The U of L fan base took this scandal on the chin. Their team missed the postseason but fans still supported that team will full force. When the 2016-17 team hit the court, there was an added energy in the home atmosphere. The scandal was in the rearview mirror. Better days were ahead. Earlier this year when the news broke that U of L would likely lose its national championship, it was a shot to the heart. The nightmare of the Powell scandal came to fruition. Some hoped the appeal would save the title, but others accepted their fate. Even with the threat of title vacation, fans just wanted the story in the past. Get it over already. Through all of this, Pitino stuck with his story: I didn’t know what was going on and if I did, I would have stopped it. Pitino brought together the troops and said come rally around this 2017-18 team. It’s one of the best we’ve had. Despite the threat of dropping the banner, the fan base backed their team and most backed Pitino. By noon Sept. 26, the flame of faith backing Pitino had been blown out. The fans have had enough. How many times can a base be a laughing stock before saying ‘enough is enough?’ Apparently, three, if you win a national title. As much as it pains me to say it, Pitino has to go. There is a limit and the latest scandal is a slap in the face to the fan base. For Pitino to have someone on his

DALTON RAY

staff pull this off, while on probation, tells the NCAA Pitino is all bark and no bite. It’s simply inexcusable. The worst part about it are the two U of L assistant coaches involved. If everything alleged is proven true, and the FBI has hard evidence, the two should never be able to coach on any level. To go out and illegally recruit players -- after seeing everything this program

and city has been through -- shows they are selfish individuals. It’s a disgrace to have those individuals wear the red and black. What pains me even more to say is the program needs the death penalty. Clean house. Start over. It’s a drastic move, but the men’s basketball program is simply out of control. There is no longer the option of cutting out the cancer, what was thought to have been done when Andre McGee left. The program needs a culture change. Who knows what will happen to the athletic department as a whole if the death penalty is the answer, but it’s becoming the final resort. The financial hit of a death penalty is one thing, but the hit to the fans is another. They need a fresh slate. Louisville fans deserve better.

FILE PHOTO / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL


SPORTS OCTOBER 3, 2017 | PAGE NINE

READ MORE ONLINE For coverage of all fall sports, follow us @TheCardSports on Twitter. We’re also on Facebook and Instgram @TheLouisvilleCardinal.

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Pitino and Jurich placed on administrative leave, Bowen suspended

Men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino. FILE PHOTO / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

Freshman Brian Bowen.

Athletic director Tom Jurich.

COURTESY PHOTO / LOUISVILLE ATHLETICS DALTON RAY @DRAY5477

Amid news of a U of L coach being involved in a national college basketball corruption case, men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich have been placed on administrative leave. Pitino’s lawyer said Pitino is “effectively fired.” Jurich’s leave is paid while Pitino’s is unpaid. At the press conference announcing this decision, U of L Interim President Greg Postel said their future at the university “will be addressed at a later date.” Postel named assistant coach David Padgett as the interim head coach on Sept. 29. Freshman Brian Bowen, who is named in the FBI indictment, is suspended from all NCAA activity indefinitely. Postel met with Pitino and Jurich individually the morning of Sept. 27 said neither offered to resign from their position. News broke Tuesday Sept. 26 that the FBI arrested 10 men — including major college coaches and sportswear representatives — involved in funneling money to

U of L President Greg Postel. PHOTO BY DALTON RAY / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

recruiters to influence their college decisions. Shortly after the news broke, a U of L coach had been identified during a video recording discussing potentially paying for a 2019 recruit and being “very low key” in terms of payment due to the university’s probation. The program is also suspected of paying a recruit nearly $100,000 from May to September 2017. Postel said the university has information on the two coaches involved, but declined to release their names citing the ongoing investigation. Jurich released a statement through his attorney, calling the FBI’s findings “heartbreaking.” “Disappointment does not even come close to describing my feelings surrounding the allegation that any member of the U of L basketball staff could be involved in the criminal conduct announced yesterday,” Jurich’s statement said. “I love this university, the Louisville community and our fans. I plan to continue to help U of L overcome the challenges it faces and work cooperatively with the university.” The university is currently on proba-

tion for a former basketball staff member hiring strippers to entertain recruits. In 2010, Karen Sypher was found guilty for extorting Pitino. He allegedly paid to keep Sypher quiet about their 2003 relationship. Jurich has stood side-by-side with Pitino during both of his previous scandals, and will now go down with his Hall of Fame employee. Jurich came to Louisville from Colo-

PHOTO BY KELLY NGUYEN / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

rado State in 1997 and has played a critical role in the national surge U of L has taken since his hiring. Pitino is the only college coach to win a national title with two different programs — Kentucky in 1996 and Louivsille in 2013. He led U of L to three Final Four appearances. Pitino has 770 career wins and 416 at Louisville, the second most of all time in the program’s history.


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SPORTS

OCT. 3, 2017 LOUISVILLECARDINAL.COM

The painful goodbye to Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino, placed on unpaid administrative leave on Sept. 27, is second all-time in men’s basketball history with 416 wins. PHOTO BY LAUREL SLAUGHTER / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL DALTON RAY @DRAY5477

With the recent investigation involving the U of L men’s basketball team, media outlets are jockeying to be the first to tackle every angle. The problem with pressing to be first is becoming a prisoner of the moment. Let’s take a step back and analyze Rick Pitino’s 16 years at the University of Louisville. First off, it still doesn’t feel real. An entire generation of Cardinal fans only know Pitino. Always rocking the highest-quality suit, the dark-haired Hall of Famer dominated sidelines of Freedom Hall and YUM! Center from the fall of 2001 to spring of 2017. Pitino arrived at U of L fresh off an NBA stint that didn’t go as planned. When Pitino first strolled around campus accompanied by athletic director Tom Jurich, senior sports information director Kenny Klein and a swarm of media, it sent shock waves across the nation — especially down the road in Lexington. Pitino faced a daunting task in replacing two-time national champion and Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum, but answered the call. By his second year, Pitino propelled the Cards to a 25-7 record and an NCAA Second Round appearance. Two years later, Louisville played in their first Final Four in 19 years. Only four years into the job and Pitino took Louisville from a 12-win team to a

game away from cutting the nets. Through the brilliance of Jurich, Louisville fans now gleamed over a coach they scorned fewer than 10 years ago. In 2008-09, another Final Four seemed imminent. Louisville rolled through the competition, entering the NCAA tournament with a 28-4 record and Big East title. For the first time under Pitino, fans felt disappointment when the Cards fell 64-52 to Michigan State in the Elite Eight. Over the next two seasons, people questioned if Pitino’s tank had run empty. Mixed with Kentucky’s hiring of John Calpari, back-to-back early-tournament exits and the Karen Sypher scandal, it appeared to look like the start of the end. Just as quick as the light seemed to dim on Pitino’s tenure, the 2011-12 team flipped the switch back on — and brighter than ever. An unexpected Final Four run in 2012 paved the way to the 2013 national title, the school’s first in 27 years. Many fans expected a third straight Final Four in 2013-14, but the Cards fell short to rival Kentucky in the Sweet 16. Considered the end of an era, Louisville’s run from 2011-2014 is considered one of the best in school history — and so much of it was orchestrated by Pitino. During this time, Louisville’s backing of Pitino grew into one of the strongest in the nation. He embraced the community and coined the term “Louisville First, Cards Forever.” Pitino had fans hooked. He could do no wrong.

Following the Pitino narrative, Louisville fans believed their school did things “the right way.” In September of 2015, the program changed forever. Katina Powell came forward and told the world of the stripper scandal involving former assistant coach Andre McGee. The news rocked the university, but Pitino claimed innocence. Once the ball started to dribble, noise of the scandal drowned out. The 201516 Cards were aiming for another deep postseason run after nearly making another Final Four the year before. Just as U of L picked up momentum on the court, a hay-maker struck the team off. Louisville announced self-imposed sanctions, including a postseason ban. An irritated and emotional Pitino barely contained his boiling frustration

anytime the situation emerged in a press conference. Even with the Hall of Famer’s and university’s reputation forever tainted, Pitino owned the support from the fan base. Every time the stripper scandal was brought up to Pitino, he took it as an opportunity to send a message to the fans. Pitino apologized for the disgrace the ordeal brought to everyone in the city and wearing Cardinal gear around the world. More than anything, he said the university would put it in the past. And Pitino was the one to lead them out of the darkness. Despite all the bad publicity, the Cardinals still persevered the following season — including earning a No. 2 seed in the 2017 NCAA tournament and top incoming recruiting classes. In June 2017, the NCAA continued

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In June 2017, the NCAA continued to work the body of the program. Suspending Pitino and placing the team on a four-year probation, the NCAA went for the knockout punch: Removing the 2013 national title and 2012 Final Four. Pitino stayed true to his Cards, saying for the first time ever, he lost faith in the NCAA due to their decision. He also mentioned how he respects the NCAA rules, has always followed the NCAA rules and would never break any NCAA rules. His loyal Cardinals following echoed the message, beating their chests with every jab Pitino took at the NCAA. U of L chose to appeal the banner removal and Pitino’s suspension. This was the point where a portion of the fan base started to become uneasy with Pitino. Many wanted him to remove his pride and accept what the NCAA ruled. Fans wanted one thing: Keep the banner. He preached to his players to make sacrifices for the team and this time around, everyone wanted Pitino to practice his philosophy. Pitino’s battle-ready mindset alarmed fans, thinking the NCAA would make an example of not only him, but the program he represented.

One of the most known characteristics of Pitino is his ego — and it’s apparently big enough to take on the NCAA. At this point, we’re into the fall of 2017. Pitino is rolling now more than ever. Louisville has a top 10 team. Their incoming recruiting class is nationally ranked in the top five. The staff is assumed to be cleaned up from the stripper scandal that continues to haunt the university. With potentially the most talented team Pitino has had in years, Louisville was prepped to scrub away the tarnished reputation brought by McGee. Little did fans know, the wick was running short. At 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 26, the bomb detonated. As the smoke cleared and people began to remove the rubble to see what programs were affected, a familiar name was recognized. News of the bombshell resonated, dazing Cardinal fans everywhere. Louisville was found to be tied to a college basketball corruption case that involved bribing high school recruits to go to certain colleges. Pitino’s first response? You guessed it. “Completely unaware.”

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PHOTO BY NANCY HANNER / THE LOUISVILLE CARDINAL

SPORTS

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One can only claim this so many times before you lose touch. His statement came across as tone deaf. At a certain point, you can’t make excuses. Own up and take responsibility. The whole situation is a nightmare. But it gets worse. Two days after the FBI’s indictment came out, media outlets reported Pitino is “Coach 2” in the paperwork. The coach, on tape, played a direct role in getting money to players. Pitino, who had potentially the strongest support from his fan base, burned his last — and biggest — bridge. The loss of support is the equivalent of fans tearing down the figurative Pitino statue. In a way, it’s a sense of freedom. The former regime is no longer dictating an entire population. Things become clearer. Pitino was idolized in Louisville as the most recognizable face. In a collegesport-driven town, Pitino carried the program to the top. A man once atop of the mountain has now fallen to the cellars, whether he is “Coach 2” or not. The man who promised to lead the university and city out of the darkness has now dragged the program into uncharted territory. Louisville is once again

at the mercy of the NCAA, but this time around they don’t have their familiar duo of Pitino and Jurich to turn to. As time goes on, Pitino will be remembered in two ways: On the court as one of the best coaches ever and off the court as a cheater. He is the only coach to win two national championships at different schools. Pitino has a massive coaching tree, with nearly 30 NBA or college coaches branded with the Pitino style. Whether Pitino’s name is cleared or not, the perception cannot be escaped. What Pitino has done at U of L should never be forgotten. It’s hard to deny his passion, dedication and love to the university and the basketball program. Louisville wouldn’t be the program they are without the Hall of Fame head coach. If it wasn’t for Pitino, Louisville basketball could possibly be like Indiana: Good 30 years ago, but living in the past. As hard as it is, fans should thank Pitino for everything he did for the university. Make no mistake, Pitino needs to be held responsible for his (lack of) actions. The Pitino era of Louisville basketball closes in the most painful way possible, but people shouldn’t be shortsighted when looking at Pitino.


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SPORTS

2017 Harvest Homecoming Festival October 7 — October 15, 2017 Parade on October 7 at 11:30 AM Booth Days October 12 – 15 New Albany, Indiana For more information, visit www.harvesthomecoming.com

Winter Session

Registration Opens: October 16

louisville.edu/wintersession

OCT. 3, 2017 LOUISVILLECARDINAL.COM

Oct. 3, 2017; Vol. 92, Issue No. 7  
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