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Red & Black Rants & Raves: 11/12

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Football, Futbol, Hoops (M & W), Volleyball, and a few final words on TJ

On a winterish Sunday that seemed far less restful than the biblical imperative would dictate, most Cardinal fans were riveted on the employment changes in the Schnelly Football Complex.

You know that to which I refer.

Meanwhile there was some truly nifty stuff going down in Cary, North Carolina.

In what was essentially a home match for the opposing #4 Tar Heels, the University of Louisville futbolers won their first ACC Men’s Soccer Tourney Title.

Cherif Dieye booted the game’s only goal into the netting from 12 yards out 29 minutes into the match. The Cards D held strong the rest of the way.

Sunday’s W capped a wondrous eight day run for U of L. The Cards gave up but a single goal in victories over three top 20 foes (2 in Top 10), #18 Notre Dame, #4 Carolina and the country’s top ranked squad, #1 Wake Forest.

Five Cardinals made the All Tournament team. In addition to Dieye, Lamine Conte, Ziyad Fekri, Jake Gelnovatch, and MVP Tate Schmitt.

Louisville’s seeding and path to a conceivable national title will be revealed Monday. The ACC, easily the strongest league in the land, is expected to have at least 8 or 9 schools in the field of 48.

One supposes the Cardinals will host a game or two at The Lynn. Stay tuned for the schedule.

* * * * *

The Cardinal hoopsters opening squeaker against the peripatetic Colonels of Nicholls State was a reality check for the ‘18-’19 season.

I shall reiterate: Patience is required.

The condition of U of L basketball will not be a quick fix.

But the cavalry is assembling. Early signing period starts Wednesday and lasts for a week.

The Cards’ putative newcomers are currently ranked as next season’s top incoming contingent in the nation.

Josh Nickelberry. Jaelyn Withers. Samuell Williamson. David Johnson. Aidan Igiehon. Quinn Slazinski.

Come on down and get fitted for your Red & Black unis.

Kudos to Chris Mack, Luke Murray, Mike Pegues and Dino Gaudio. Good work, dudes.

Now if the Cards can somehow survive this season’s MF of a schedule . . .

* * * * *

Jeff Walz’s women’s hoops squad is off to its expected good start.

Asia Durr is getting as much national acclaim as any distaff baller in the land.

Unfortunately we’re still two weeks distant from the team’s initial home game at the Yum!

The squad will certainly be well traveled by the time they get home.

* * * * *

Dani Busboom Kelly’s volleyball team won twice last week, over BC and Wake Forest, for their 19th and 20th Ws of the season against 7 losses. 13-3 in the ACC.

U of L has slipped into Top 25 this season, but stood just outside in last week’s poll.

Notre Dame and Virginia Tech come calling to Cardinal Arena this Wednesday and Friday.

* * * * *

Given Sunday’s totally justified and necessary dismissal of Bobby Petrino and his family affair of assistants, eager anticipation has commenced.

Jeff Brohm, the Cardinal Nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

The homie and his well qualified bros Brian and Greg may well return to Louisville. Or not.

Hopefully the fan base will respect whatever decision Familia Brohm makes. And understand that there are a plethora of good candidates out there, who would cherish the opportunity to lead their own program at a Power 5 school.

Be calm and let the process play out.

Whoever is roaming the sidelines for Louisville next season, he shall be a breath of fresh air.

* * * * *

Some final comments about Tom Jurich and his reign as U of L AD.

As if we haven’t argued enough about him already.

Which I’ll preface with the perspective that no person, not him, not me, not you, is all good or all bad.

There is yin. There is yang. There is night. There is day. There is sun. There is rain. There is hot. There is cold. There are A+s. There are D-s. Life is a balance. Personalities are a balance.

It takes but a drive along Floyd Street by the campus to get a sense of the wonders Jurich brought to the program. Facilities. Championship caliber coaches. Membership in the ACC. National stature. From a gravel parking lot, literally, to upper echelon.

As a lifelong Cardinal fan, I am forever indebted.

But let’s be very clear. The pall over U of L basketball, the demise of Cardinal football -- as well as the soccer and swimming successes -- are a significant part of his legacy.

He stayed loyal to Rick Pitino way longer than prudent.

His rehire of Bobby Petrino was a seriously lazy and imprudent maneuver.

During his recent talk/ book signing here, “The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino” author Michael Sokolove mentioned his chats with Jurich while researching the book.

He asked the former AD if he had any regrets about not firing Pitino, either after the Sypher affair or the strippers in the dorm scandal.

No, the former AD advised, he felt his loyalty to the former Cardinal coach was paramount.

That thinking is where the circuits shorted out, where U of L ascendence in the world of college athletics was undermined from within. TJ was more loyal to two coaches than he was to the university and his fan base.

For all the incredible successes Jurich catalyzed on the Belknap Campus, he is also directly responsible for the clouds over U of L hoops, and his failure to bring in a fresh face when Charlie Strong moved on.

He was, like you, like me, a man of some worthy praise for his achievements, a man who must bear responsibility for his mistakes.

I, for one, am grateful, that my alma mater, the school that has been my love since my youth, has moved on.

It would appear better days are on the horizon. Let’s pray it is true.

-- Seedy K