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Wednesday evening Cardinal news and notes

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Chris Nall is in India -- where they don't spend nearly as much time on Bracketology -- and I am jealous.

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I_medium If you missed today's show, John kicked things off by saying that USC is targeting Tom Jurich (again) to be its next athletic director. Both Jurich and Kenny Klein have since responded to that report.

"Tom is not talking to anyone about any job," Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein said. "USC may have come up because (Jurich) was born and raised (in California), but there is nothing to it."

Multiple sources close to U of L's athletics program echoed Klein, though they acknowledged USC could be interested in Jurich. USC is looking for a new athletics director to replace Pat Haden, who will retire from his job at the end of June.

"I am not going to (USC)," Jurich told WLKY. "People say what they want because I'm from there. They think I might go but I'm staying right where I am."

I_medium Louisville sits at No. 12 in ESPN's first power index for the 2016 season.

I_medium Your updated ACC basketball standings after Miami's last second win over Pitt last night and North Carolina's narrow victory over .... Boston College?

ACC Standings

TEAM CONF OVERALL
North Carolina 9-2 20-4
Virginia 9-3 20-4
Miami (FL) 8-3 19-4
Louisville 8-3 19-5
Notre Dame 8-4 17-7
Duke 7-4 18-6
Clemson 7-5 14-10
Pittsburgh 6-5 17-6
Florida State 6-5 16-7
Syracuse 6-5 16-8
Virginia Tech 5-7 13-12
Georgia Tech 2-8 12-11
NC State 2-9 12-12
Wake Forest 1-10 10-13
Boston College 0-11 7-17

I_medium If you missed it yesterday, Rick Pitino said he would sit out or work for free if it meant Louisville got to play in the NCAA Tournament this season.

I_medium Add Lorenzo Mauldin to the list of outspoken former Cardinal athletes who are upset.

I_medium ESPN attempts to take stock of Louisville's post-signing day football roster.

I_medium Louisville is the fifth ACC team in as many seasons to self-impose a postseason band, a troubling trend for the conference.

During the ACC's preseason basketball gathering in October, reporters asked Swofford about the league's accumulation of NCAA cases, specifically Louisville, Syracuse and North Carolina.

"I'm not concerned about the league's image," he said.

He should be, and probably is, even in good times. Image management is part of every CEO's job description.

"We've got more schools than we've ever had before," Swofford said later that day, "so maybe there will be a few more issues. ... But you can't allow that to undermine the cornerstones of what your league is all about, and I think our schools understand that.

"What we're trying to do is help those schools get to an end point and then put it behind them, and we get back to, generally speaking, having zero (cases) on the docket. That's what you want to have, and that's what we expect."

Not to suggest the ACC is alone here.

An InsideHigherEd.com analysis of the NCAA's infractions database last month found that 33 of the 64 schools comprising the five power conferences committed major rules violations in the last decade. That includes eight each from the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference, six apiece from the Big Ten and Pacific 12, and five from the ACC — the NCAA has yet to punish Louisville.

Those numbers support Swofford's history-of-compliance theme, when compared to others, but during the last five years, some ACC schools have red-lined the outrage meter. Kudos to the majority that haven't, but as every athletic director, coach and university president understands, no matter your history or status — the ACC is a unique collection of public and private academic powers — you're only a phone call, or tweet, away from NCAA crisis.

No one is immune.

I_medium Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich take an inside look at Katina Powell's journals. If you're into that sort of thing.

I_medium Louisville's postseason ban has reshaped the NCAA Tournament bubble picture for 2016.

I_medium The U of L men's soccer program has announced the addition of transfer Geoffrey Dee and early prep enrollee Grant Hollkamp to the Cardinals for the spring semester.

I_medium Congrats to U of L signee VJ King, who was honored by the Jordan Brand Classic folks on Tuesday night.

I_medium Louisville senior setter Katie George has been named the 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and headlines the All-ACC Academic Volleyball team.

She deserves it for this move alone.

I_medium North Carolina has (literally) the worst outside shooting team in the history of Tar Heel basketball ... and they could still win a national championship this season.

I_medium If you're looking for a dozen roses plus giant chocolate strawberries for Valentine's Day, hit up ProFlowers.com today and use the promo code "939theville."

I_medium Mini-horror movie:

But seriously, that's a cool idea that I wouldn't hate to see U of L pick up on.

I_medium Seth Davis of Sports Illustrated says he would be "flabbergasted" if Rick Pitino knew about the escorts/strippers at Minardi Hall.

I_medium I realize we aren't exactly in a position to be casting stones right now, but this story of Tennessee football players assaulting one of their teammates because he helped a rape victim is absolutely insane.

University of Tennessee football players confronted and assaulted wide receiver Drae Bowles as retribution for helping a woman who said she was raped by then-Volunteer players A.J. Johnson and Mike Williams, according to a federal lawsuit filed in Nashville on Tuesday.

Bowles took the woman to a hospital on the night of the alleged rape in November 2014 and supported her decision to report the incident to authorities, according to the lawsuit.

While the woman, a student-athlete, was meeting with executive senior associate athletics director Jon Gilbert, senior associate athletics director Mike Ward and her coach, she received a message from her roommate "who was witnessing at that moment several football players jumping" Bowles, the lawsuit says. The woman informed the athletics officials of the incident and was told they would "look into it," according to the suit. The lawsuit says "athletic coaches were present during that altercation."

Days later, the woman learned that Bowles was assaulted a second time at the team facility by the same players, the lawsuit says. She reported the second assault to university administrators as well.

When asked about the alleged assaults on Bowles, the school's general counsel Bill Ramsey said, "The university has certain rules we have to play by, and we can't really talk about particular students at all."

Congrats to Drae Bowles (who eventually transferred to Chattanooga) on becoming my new favorite non-Louisville football player.

I_medium Four Cardinal players have been named to the 2015 All-ACC Academic Men's Soccer Team.

I_medium The OC reunion is finally happening, which is the first good thing to happen to me this week ... unless Oliver is coming, in which case we're right back to everything sucking.

I_medium Good stuff as always from Ian Klarer.

I_medium The U of L softball team has been picked to finish third in the ACC.

I_medium The postseason ban is likely to cost area businesses millions of dollars.

I_medium Patrick Towles is realllly begging for the return of old Bobby next November.

Also, this is remarkably on point.

I_medium I agree with the vast majority of Bob Valvano's take on the postseason ban.

I_medium Imagine how good Teddy could be with a line.

I_medium Damion Lee checks in at No. 59 and Chinanu Onuaku at No. 63 on Sam Vecenie's latest NBA Draft big board for CBS.

I_medium Russ Smith is the No. 1 NBA prospect in the D League.

I_medium Adding to the pain of this week, apparently Shaq would have played for U of L if he'd had a guarantee that he would start as a freshman.

During a Tuesday press conference to discuss the upcoming reunion of U of L's 1986 national champions, former player Robbie Valentine laughed and shook his head as he recalled that while he was a graduate assistant for the Cardinals in the late 1980s, O'Neal loved an official visit to Louisville and was ready to commit to the team - on one condition.

O'Neal wanted coach Denny Crum to promise him that he would be in the starting lineup his freshman year in 1989-90.

Crum wouldn't do it.

Near the conclusion of the visit, "we were at Coach Crum's house (on Sunday) eating breakfast - the whole team, recruits, family, everybody - Coach was cooking us pancakes," Valentine recalled. "We go outside by (Crum's) lake, and Shaq said, 'If Coach can promise me that I'm going to start from Day 1, I'm coming.' We were all nervous. We finally eat our breakfast. We were all sitting around his front room, and Shaq said, 'Coach, I'll sign right now, if you tell me I'm going to start.

"Coach Crum looked at him and said, 'Shaquille, I've never promised anyone that (he's) going to start here at the University of Louisville, and I can't promise you that.' (O'Neal) said, 'I'm not going to Louisville.' We were all crying, man. We were like, 'Coach, he's 7-foot! He's a monster!'

I_medium Louisville baseball has received a verbal commitment from catcher Henry Davis. Almost as good as Shaq.

I_medium After two years of flaming out in the tournament, Virginia might finally be a legitimate national title contender thanks to its offense.

I_medium Proving that nothing lasts forever, Jeff Walz has finally been shoved off his ping pong throne.

I_medium The ACC Digital Network breaks down (video) the top five post players in the conference.

I_medium Thank god for laughter.

Also, music. Music is cool.

I_medium Louisville looks like the leader for 2017 guard Zack Dawson.

I_medium Trey rules, Part 563:

I_medium And finally, this reddit post about the game day experience at DePaul is your must-read for the evening.