Clint Hurtt's Future At Louisville Is Up In The Air

A little less than a year ago, Yahoo released the results of an extensive 11-month investigation into the University of Miami football program which revealed rampant NCAA rule-breaking. Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt was named multiple times in the report.

NCAA rule-breaking with coaches and staffers: Shapiro said he violated NCAA rules with the knowledge or direct participation of at least six coaches - Clint Hurtt, Jeff Stoutland and Aubrey Hill on the football staff, and Frank Haith, Jake Morton and Jorge Fernandez on the basketball staff. Multiple sources told Yahoo! Sports Shapiro also violated NCAA rules with football assistant Joe Pannunzio, although the booster refused to answer any questions about that relationship. Shapiro also named assistant football equipment manager Sean Allen as someone who engaged in rulebreaking, and equipment managers Ralph Nogueras and Joey Corey as witnesses to some of his impropriety.

Among the specific incidents, Shapiro or other sources say Hurtt, Hill, Stoutland, Pannunzio and Allen all delivered top-tier recruits to Shapiro's home or luxury suite so the booster could make recruiting pitches to them. Among the players who were ushered to Shapiro while they were still in high school: Eventual Miami commitments Ray-Ray Armstrong, Dyron Dye and Olivier Vernon (prompted by Hurtt); eventual Florida commitments Andre Debose (Hurtt) and Matt Patchan (prompted by Stoutland and Pannunzio); eventual Georgia commitment Orson Charles (Pannunzio); and eventual Central Florida commitment Jeffrey Godfrey (Allen).

Shortly after the report was released, the NCAA informed U of L that it would need to speak with Hurtt at some point.

Since then, everyone associated with Louisville football has played the expected part. Tom Jurich has said the school will cooperate with the NCAA, Charlie Strong has said that he is standing behind his friend and colleague, and Cardinal fans have pretty much ignored the entire situation.

While the timing couldn't be much worse, Hurtt's date with the NCAA appears to be coming.

The reason for the raising of the red flag is that Aubrey Hill, the wide receivers coach at Florida who was another one of the coaches tied to agent Nevin Shapiro in the Yahoo report, resigned today for "personal reasons." Shortly after that news broke, CBS' Bruce Feldman tweeted that he had heard from "several sources" that the former Miami coach most tied to Nevin Shapiro wasn't Hill, but Clint Hurtt.

Not great.

Like a lot of Cardinal fans, I've thought since this news first came out last August that U of L would eventually have to part ways with Hurtt. It was nice being able to ignore it, but it appears the time for dealing with this head on is finally here.

So how soon will we know what the future holds for Clint Hurtt at Louisville? Maybe tonight. One media member told me he thinks that if Hurtt isn't at the open practice it means he's gone, but if he is there it means he's probably going to stay and try to ride this thing out.

Here's hoping that whatever happens doesn't wind up being an extreme distraction, because that's the last thing this team needs heading into a season where BCS dreams are very realistic.

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