TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Sept. 27, 2017 — The “other” firing

This afternoon, it was announced that Hall-of-Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino was being fired from his post at the University of Louisville, a day after federal investigators indicted a number of basketball coaches and a representative from Adidas in a wide-ranging investigation into bribery in the collegiate game.

While Pitino and Adidas global director Jim Gatto are likely to be the two biggest names implicated in this widening circus, there is one name which is likely to be forgotten.

And that’s Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich.

Jurich, to be sure, led a scandal-plagued shop. There was the time when Pitino was being blackmailed for sleeping with the wife of his team’s equipment manager. There was also a time when the head women’s lacrosse coach was being accused of abusing her players. and there was also the 2015 scandal when a former Louisville staffer procured prostituted and strippers for players and recruits.

All the while, Louisville switched conferences like a waterbug switching lilypads.  In just 11 years, the Cardinal athletic programs went from Conference USA to the Big East to the American Athletic Conference, then found their current home in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

There’s been plenty of benefit from the Cardinals’ current association with the ACC, especially in field hockey and lacrosse.

But the baggage that Pitino brought eventually became too much for the university to withstand.

That it had to have been such an enormity of baggage was Jurich’s fault and the fault, frankly, of the athletic administration.

You see, when Jurich’s top lieutenant, Julie Hermann, flamed out at Rutgers after just 30 months, you had to know that the problem wasn’t necessarily with the administrators sitting in the seat, both in Piscataway and in Louisville.

Instead, it seems to me as though athletic administrators, once exposed to the ways and means of revenue generation and operating in the dark web of secrets within college sports, are completely consumed by this corruption.

Somehow, I don’t think heads have stopped rolling here.

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