—Happy Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, which of course means six more weeks of the NCAA mulling over Louisville’s appeal.
Now it’s like 98% that this thing drops this afternoon.
—Myisha Hines-Allen is one of 10 finalists for 2018 Katrina McClain Award, which recognizes top power forward in women’s college basketball.
—Love these guys.
Starting Saturday, the Cardinals will be wearing patches on their uniforms - an idea of the trio of captains - in support of two members of Coach David Padgett’s family directly affected by cancer, hoping it raises awareness for all those battling the disease. pic.twitter.com/focFrFaEBr— Louisville Basketball (@LouisvilleMBB) February 1, 2018
—North Carolina’s three-point defense is atrocious right now. Let’s keep it that way for a few more weeks.
—Louisville football season ticket prices will remain the same per game this season.
—Here are the best sights and sounds from last night’s win at Virginia.
—This week has been a really bad one for bubble teams.
—Mick Cronin sending Reece some love.
I would like to congratulate Reece Gaines on his induction to the UofL Hall of Fame. Great Player Great Person.— Mick Cronin (@CoachCroninUC) February 2, 2018
—Jaire Alexander has received an invitation to the NFL Combine.
—Hey, want to loathe the NCAA even more? I’ve got just the story.
At a time when college basketball is overrun with coaches who are entertaining recruits with strippers or accepting bribes from unscrupulous agents, Rick Barnes somehow ran afoul of the NCAA rulebook for a goodwill gesture.
The Tennessee coach had the audacity to supplement an underpaid assistant’s salary out of his own pocket during the 2016-17 season.
Barnes was unhappy that second-year assistant coach Desmond Oliver made less money than fellow assistant Mike Schwartz, The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported Thursday. When school administrators told Barnes that they didn’t money available to offer Oliver a raise, Barnes took matters into his own hands and paid him the difference himself.
“It was important to me that Des Oliver made the same amount of money,” Barnes told the News-Sentinel. “I just felt those two positions needed to be equal. They felt it wasn’t in the budget. I just said, ‘I am going to pay it myself.’”
Barnes told the News-Sentinel that he didn’t realize his kind-hearted act flouted NCAA rules until he mentioned what he was doing to a supervisor. Only then did he discover that he was in violation of an NCAA rule that prohibits athletic department staff members from receiving supplemental pay from outside sources.
“An outside source is prohibited from paying or regularly supplementing an athletics department staff member’s annual salary and from arranging to supplement that salary for an unspecified achievement,” rule 220.127.116.11 says. “This includes the donation of cash from outside sources to the institution earmarked for the staff member’s salary or supplemental income.”
Nothing Mark Emmert can do about the repulsiveness at Michigan State, but a guy paying another guy who works under him because he thinks that person deserves the money? Not on our watch, pal.
—In the wake of this week’s events, U of L has dropped Stoll Keenon Ogden, the law firm that had been representing the school in its ongoing legal battles with Tom Jurich and Rick Pitino.
—Tim Sullivan writes that the “clown show” is rolling on at U of L.
You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to connect those dots. A child could do it with a crayon. To pretend that an embarrassing disclosure had no bearing on its predictable outcome three days later is to insult the intelligence of your constituents. It is to remind them of how badly the Jurich case has been bungled, beginning with an over-the-top letter of termination; a letter that was gossamer-thin on specific allegations and largely oblivious to two decades of conspicuous contributions.
Jurich has his faults. He has made some mistakes. In light of his steadfast support of Pitino, and the repeated scandals that have tarnished U of L basketball, it is not unreasonable to think a leadership change was in order and that the university might benefit by presenting a new image to the world beyond Jefferson County.
Yet instead of reaching a mutual understanding that it was time to part ways and negotiating a reasonable settlement on the balance of Jurich’s contract, Postel and/or board of trustees Chairman J. David Grissom chose the nuclear option. In firing Jurich for “just cause” they presented a long list of provocative generalities: “ineffective management, divisive leadership, unprofessional conduct and a lack of congeniality best characterized as intimidation and bullying that extends from student government to the University’s senior leadership.”
If the administration is in possession of damning details to substantiate those claims, it has yet to share them. To some extent, this is understandable. Given the millions of dollars at stake, it is probably imprudent to go public with damaging information before the case reaches a courtroom.
I just want to get back to talking about how the ACC tournament would look if it started today (we’d be the No. 4 seed).
—U of L track and field is headed to the Power 5 Invitational this weekend.
—This is unbelievable.
It’s also why if Romeo already knows that he’s not going to pick Indiana, he’s making the right call in not making any announcement until after his senior season is over.
—U of L hopes to hire a permanent athletic director by March 30.
—As far as the future head of the men’s basketball program is concerned ...
“David’s been terrific,” Tyra told the board. “He’s been mature beyond his years in handling this situation, handling this team. I’ve tried to ask people for patience, as you have a coaching staff that is working together for the first time. The players have to get accustomed not only to David but to the staff, and the staff has to get used to each other. I think we’ve seen things improve as the season has gone on, inside the coaching staff and with the team. We still have high expectations here, and they won’t change with David this year nor in the coming years.”
When asked after the meeting if any of that means that Padgett is getting inside position on the permanent head coaching job at U of L, Tyra proclaimed the discussion premature.
“I think you’re probably getting ahead of yourself there,” Tyra said. “We’ve got a lot of season left to think about it. And I think, again, what I’m trying to assess is just how the program is run, where we are, looking at what’s best, looking ahead. Look, I’m very proud of what he’s done, at his age and his maturity level and what he’s done with the team and the assistants, he’s done a great job with the program this year. But I think it’s early for me to really speculate on that. I know there’s been a lot of that around. But we’ll continue to have our conversations and see how we perform, and frankly how he performs the rest of the year.”
—The CJ hits us with an updated look at Louisville’s NCAA tournament profile.
—The Bellarmine Knights extended the longest home winning streak in all of college basketball to 55 games on Thursday night.
Alex Trebek roasted these Jeopardy! contestants who knew nothing about football. pic.twitter.com/BTNvGaucvE— ESPN (@espn) February 2, 2018
—Teddy Bridgewater’s stint on PUP list to start 2017 season could decide his free-agency status.
—I don’t think my opinion of Knight could possibly be any lower, so sure, I’ll watch this.
—Emina Ekic, the ACC Freshman of the Year for women’s soccer, has been named first team Academic All-Conference.
—It’ll be interesting to see what Louisville’s number is a year from now.
NCAA Men’s Basketball Budgets 2016-17— Mark Adams (@EnthusiAdams) February 1, 2018
1 Duke $19,507,686
2 Kentucky $19,180,059
3 Georgetown $17,702,377
4 Louisville $17,065,364
5 TCU $15,168,356
6 Syracuse $13,260,311
7 Indiana $12,855,019
8 Marquette $11,803,633
9 Texas $11,430,951
—Louisville vs. Florida State looks like it might be the best ACC game of the weekend.
—And finally, Louisville gets a shoutout here as a top 10 beer destination in the world. The first weekend of February feels like a perfect time to take advantage of this distinction.