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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Letting go of your first love is never easy.

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—Spread check: Georgia Tech by 4.5.

—A big thank you to anyone who voted for us in the LEO Weekly reader’s choice Best of Louisville awards, as Card Chronicle took home the “Best Blog” honor for a (I think) sixth straight year. We also took third-place in “Best Website” and “Best Twitter Account,” and your boy picked up an undeserved first-place nod for “Best Writer.”

Again, thank you.

—It was reportedly a relatively slow morning at the college basketball trial in New York. So naturally, the only significant piece of evidence involved Louisville.

If true, this is evidence of direct involvement in rule-breaking by members of Louisville’s staff, who had previously claimed to be innocent bystanders in a grander scheme performed by Dawkins, Gatto, Adidas, etc.

It’s also worth noting that La Salle hired Kenny Johnson as an assistant just a few months ago. At the time, Johnson stated that he had received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office which cleared him to coach again.

Jordan Fair has also been working as an AAU coach for Team Breakdown, which claimed over the summer that Fair had been cleared to coach by the NCAA.

Soooo ...

—Brian Bowen Sr. (who has struck a deal and has immunity) may testify in the trial as early as today or Monday. Dan Wetzel writes a lot of words about how bad that might be for a number of programs, but I’d like to focus on one sentence in particular.

And now Brian Bowen Sr. gets his say, and what that entails could have significant ramifications for programs coast to coast.

The prosecution could call Bowen as early as Thursday. If not, next week. He’s already at the center of the trial after agreeing to have Adidas pay him $100,000 for Tuggs to attend the University of Louisville, which the sneaker company sponsors. The deal was orchestrated by Gatto, Code and Dawkins, a longtime family friend from Saginaw.

It included financial planner Munish Sood, who worked with Dawkins and Gatto, handing the bag of money to Bowen Sr. a little over a year ago when the two met outside a nondescript office building in Morristown, New Jersey. Sood even brought Bowen Sr. a sandwich to help assure he would eventually handle Tuggs’ NBA money.

I’m very, very interested in the apparent importance of this sandwich. I mean last night I thought I had a decent grip on Louisville’s place in all of this, then minutes later I’m wondering if we got f—-ed by a sandwich.

How in the world was this sandwich a persuasive device? What type of sandwich are we talking about here? If the sandwich wasn’t brought, would the deal have been off? Are you trying to tell me that a sandwich took down Louisville basketball?

Just when you think you have a handle on things.

—Christi Mack gives WAVE-3 an inside look at life at the Mack household.

—Blackout Friday is coming.

—Georgia Tech will counter Louisville’s Blackout by wearing its “Friday Night Whites” tomorrow.

—Junior Bridgeman is expanding his investment in Coca-Cola bottling operations.

—Jeff Walz and company are finalists for five-star guard Aijah Blackwell.

—Six months after Virginia’s historic loss to UMBC, the staff over at Streaking the Lawn discuss whether or not they’ve moved on.

—College basketball is being laid bare in federal court. So why can’t Mark Emmert be bothered to show up and see it?

—Nice to see that fall still actually comes to other parts of the country.

—The U of L men’s soccer team is still No. 6 in the latest coaches poll.

—Bobby Petrino is currently the 25th-highest paid coach in college football. He was passed this year by Kentucky’s Mark Stoops, who is No. 23.

—Year one Todd Grantham is basically Masters first round Charley Hoffman. Soak it up, Florida.

—Cardinal Strong engages in a Q&A with our friends over at From the Rumble Seat.

—Julie Taylor didn’t deserve Matt Saracen.

—Rick Pitino is the latest guest on Evan Daniels’ Sidelines pod.

—Louisville football’s struggles on the field have come at a rough time on the recruiting trail, says the CJ.

—In related news, three-star offensive lineman Ty Murray committed to Louisville Wednesday night.

—Athlon likes Georgia Tech in a one score game Friday night.

Final Analysis

While Louisville is at home and it should be a loud crowd on Friday night, Georgia Tech appears to have the advantage in all three phases of the game. Yellow Jackets QB TaQuon Marshall will give the Cardinals problems not only with his legs but with his arm. The defense also will have to watch out for Tobias Oliver, who ran for 115 yards last week against Bowling Green.

It could be a long for night a Louisville defense that has had issues stopping the run this season.

Prediction: Georgia Tech 31, Louisville 23

—Prince fans unite.

Changes are coming to North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium after a recent story in the school’s student newspaper.

—Noted angry person Nick Saban is now going off on Alabama students for not showing up to home games in large enough numbers.

—The Kentucky fan letters to Mitch Barnhart regarding Nike and Colin Kapernick are as entertaining as you’d imagine.


The relationship between Kentucky and Nike goes back more than 20 years and has only grown stronger since basketball coach John Calipari arrived. In 2013, Kentucky agreed to a new contract with Nike worth $47 million in cash and apparel. Moreover, the Nike connection almost certainly helps the basketball program with regard to top recruits who have been aligned with Nike-affiliated AAU programs.

Still, for Charles Schweinhart, Kentucky wearing the swoosh in the wake of the Kaepernick ad was enough to threaten to switch allegiances and root for Adidas-affiliated Louisville.

“My life, therefore my family’s life, revolves around U of K athletics,” Schweinhart wrote to athletics director Mitch Barnhart. “The news from Nike is very troubling. I can not support a company that rewards un-American actions. Will this cause me to divorce Kentucky? Should I start pulling for the Adidas school in Jefferson County. Help me. To leave the (Big Blue Nation) would cause my father to roll over in his grave, as well as making me change 3/4 of my wardrobe. I love the Cats. HELP.”

Email to Kentucky about Nike. (Photo: University of Kentucky)

Lawrence Hayes, who claimed to be a 1987 Kentucky graduate, wrote to both Barnhart and president Eli Capilouto that Kentucky would be “hypocrites” to stay with Nike in light of Louisville removing “Papa” John Schnatter’s name from its football stadium due to a racially insensitive remark.

“Since Nike has decided to align itself with those who profess hatred of America, it’s incumbent upon our university to sever any ties to that company just as you did with Papa John’s,” Hayes wrote. “Failure to do so is a clear admission that the University of Kentucky agrees with those individuals and companies that spew hatred of the United States of America.”

—Randy Edsall’s contract with UConn includes the dumbest list of incentives I’ve ever seen. For example, he gets $2,000 every time the Huskies score first in a game, and another $2,000 if they’re leading at halftime.

—Regardless of your thoughts on the season so far, send some good vibes in the direction of the Petrino family this week.

—The CJ’s Danielle Lerner writes about U of L women’s soccer’s Kennadi Carbin, who balances life as a mother, athlete and student.

—Quarterbacks named Jake are taking over the country.

—The ninth-ranked Cardinal field hockey team hammered Ball State, 5-1, Wednesday night.

—Sports Media Pass examined Georgia Tech’s keys to beating Louisville.

Keys To Success

While Louisville is a pass-happy team, their passing offense, like Tech’s, is not very strong. In fact, along with Pitt, the three teams rank among the bottom of the ACC in passing offense. Interestingly enough, Georgia Tech’s and Louisville’s passing defense are ranked fifth and sixth respectively. It should be an even matchup from the perspective of the passing game. With that in mind, the running game might prove advantageous for the Yellow Jackets.

A key element to the game will be Georgia Tech’s ability to control the ball. Currently, the Yellow Jackets are ranked first in the ACC in time of possession, averaging over 32 minutes of possession per game. This is largely due to Tech’s rushing offense, which is also ranked first in the conference. It’s important to note that Louisville’s rushing defense is ranked in the bottom four of the ACC.

In the ACC this season, Georgia Tech has allowed 46.8 percent of opponent’s third-down conversions placing them at the bottom. The next worst team? Louisville. So, with its advantage in the run game, the Yellow Jackets should be able to convert more third downs and maintain control of the ball. If the Yellow Jackets can control the ball and the clock, they should be able to control the game.

Not sure “pass-happy” is accurate, but ok.

—CBS News likes Georgia Tech to win and cover tomorrow night.

—And finally, R&R is live from the Frazier History Museum today from 3-6. Listen here as I try not to break anything for three hours.