An Alabama fan/friend of mine shared with me Stew Mandrel's S.I. piece on the hire.
Below is my point-by-point response to my friend (you'll need to read Mandrel first for proper context):
1. "Jurich's program spent the next several years digging out from the perilous state Petrino left it in"
The leaving itself hurts (doesn't it always?), but the cupboard was not bare. Offensively we returned a very stout team. And defensively, well, BP never really focused on D, so it probably wasn't appreciably worse than it had been. The obvious problem with that timeframe is that Krag was a soft coach, completely undisciplined with players who were used to BP's strong hand. They lost respect for him early on, then off-the-field transgressions went up, academic performance declined, and dismissals ensued. But that's on Krag, not Petrino. Might we (UofL fans) have blamed Petrino at the time to try and give ourselves some hope that Krags didn't suck? Maybe, but the reality is that Krag sunk the ship. (Sidenote - by his final year Krag's nickname on the boards was K1N1)
2. " where he napalmed yet another program"
In 2010 Ark finished the season ranked 8th in the final BCS poll, its highest such achievement. So bear that in mind when we are throwing around the word "napalmed." Obviously his off-field antics resulted in his being summarily shitcanned, which definitely set the program back and caused embarrassment. But he did wonders for the program right up until his fall from grace. So should I be concerned that he is going to take another mistress in his department, promote her and cause a huge scandal? Not any more than I worry about my National Championship-winning coach Rick Pitino fooling around in another local Italian joint. Public shaming goes a long way to building character.
3. "Now we're getting a better window into why Jurich's teams win so much. He apparently cares about nothing else."
Lots of self righteous fans are arguing this point. "where are the values!?!" they scream. As you and I know from our own home-grown UNC scandal, you dig deep enough anywhere successful and you are going to find some questionable crap. Jurich is not in the business of filling an empty Papal job, he's here to turn UofL into a national powerhouse in as many sports as possible, and to do so as cleanly as possible. And RP and BP have always, as far as we know (and we know quite a lot about each of these guys), run clean programs. Even Mandrel's statement about Clint Hurtt rings disingenuous. This guy has been scoured, picked clean by the NCAA (whose moral code is a whole other story) and no wrongdoing has been found to have occurred at Louisville. So Jurich went to bat for Coach Strong by letting Strong's buddy Hurtt stick around. That's what he does, he goes to bat for his employees, I respect that. Furthermore, if Mandrel wants to start slinging arrows around, he should kindly aim some at the new head coach on Austin who hired Hurtt and wanted Hurtt to remain on his staff.
4. "In December 2007, when Petrino abruptly bolted the Atlanta Falcons with three games remaining in his season -- leaving notes in the players' lockers;"
Not sure what to believe here myself, but it sounds like the GM was telling BP who to bench and who not to bench. BP told Blank he couldn't deal with another season of that, Blank said "why wait til the end of the year." So it's worth considering, at least, that somewhere between "quitter" and "not allowed to coach" lies the truth
5. "...makes it a "destination job" and that this is the 52-year-old's "last stop" and "that this is where my family wants to be and where I want to be. But I want everyone to really believe it when it is said.""
100% of coaches at big programs say this. Your coach has said this. Urban Meyer has said this. Charlie Strong has said this. The only ones who really mean it are about to get fired, or Frank Beamer.
6. "Petrino, for all his many other flaws..."
And here we find the buried lead. Everything said after this point I completely agree with. Which, by the way, is almost a full half of Mandrel's story, not to mention the only part that was entirely football related. The 5 grafs that follow tell a story of a coach that anyone would hire in a heartbeat. Heck, if I were a Tide fan I'd applaud this hire, knowing Saban ain't going to last forever and when he's gone and Petrino has completed his millionth rosary, you can pay a few mil to the Cards and not have to suffer all of the ignominy we are.
Jurich is roundly considered to be the best AD in the business (Texas tried to hire him before Patterson), if he thinks the situation is under control, than I have to agree with him. It could totally blow up. But like the Buddhists say: If you consider the vase already broken, then you will more easily enjoy your time with it and not be upset when it breaks, because it was already broken.