clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

At least no one can take Donovan Mitchell away from us.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

—The fourth-ranked U of L women’s basketball team is back in action tonight against Virginia in their annual Play4Kay game. Fans can purchase $3 tickets to the game when using the Play4Kay promo code. Here’s a game preview.

—Despite fans having to pay to see Louisville’s season-opener for the first time in the history ofJim Patterson Stadium, Cardinal baseball enjoyed one of its largest crowds ever for a home opener on Tuesday. U of L took care of Eastern Kentucky, 4-2.

—Inspired by Louisville, Iowa State has announced a decision to vacate all of its sports losses.

—Turns out Donovan Mitchell was one of the kids in attendance at LeBron James’ in famous “The Decision” ceremony.

—Louisville’s locker room remained frustrated after last night’s loss in Durham.

“It’s kind of tough right now,” junior Ray Spalding said. “I’m a competitor, so I hate losing. It just sucks. All you can do is just stay together — communicate with one another. This group we have, we are pretty close and close-knit with one another.

”No one likes losing. Everyone hates the pattern of losing and the continuous losses. All we can do is stay up and keep the spirits high.”


The concerning part for the Cards is the lack of answers. Padgett challenged his players in his postgame press conference, wondering what better motivation there could be than competing and playing for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

In the Cards’ locker room, Spalding and other Louisville veterans said the problem doesn’t seem to be showing up in game preparation or practices, but something gets lost in translation when the Cards step on the court for real games.

”If we weren’t going hard in practice, if we were just going through the motions,” junior wing Deng Adel said, “then you could say this is concerning because guys are not competing, guys are not giving 100 percent. But we give a lot of energy in practice and we’ve just got to find a way to translate that to a game.”

—Here’s the official U of L recap of last night’s unpleasantness.

—Shoutout to Middle Tennessee for being the most geographically accurate of the directional schools in Division-I.

—The local TV numbers from Louisville-Duke were not great.

—Former U of L Foundation CFO Jason Tomlinson received $175,000 in the settlement of the lawsuit he filed over his firing.

—The best way to make the Winter Olympics isn’t to be good at sports, it’s to be super rich.

—Even with that being the case, last night’s gold medal game between USA and Canada in women’s hockey was awesome.

—Don’t be Gregg Marshall.

Be John Beilein.

—NCAA Tournament chairman Bruce Rasmussen defends the new ‘quadrant’ system for building brackets.

—Jeff Greer looks at how the NCAA appeal ruling may — or may not — impact Louisville in the FBI case.

—Jay Bilas gets fans ready for March, and also has a couple of takes on the Louisville news.

Louisville appeal

Did any rational person believe Louisville would win its appeal of sanctions in the stripper case? Not me. This case wasn’t anything like that of North Carolina, in which the underlying actions were not against the rules. The Louisville case was an extra benefits case, right in the NCAA’s wheelhouse. After multiple investigations, the NCAA learned that the value of the services performed in the Cardinals’ dorm (house calls for dancing and sometimes more) did not rise to the level of vacation of wins. Rather than place a dollar value on each act, which would have been quite uncomfortable and required a new “quadrant system,” the NCAA ruled that the actions were so unseemly as to be worthy of the vacation of wins, without regard to the value of the services rendered. Unrelated to the denial of the appeal is the policy question of whether the vacation of wins and banners is an effective deterrent or a worthless exercise and total waste of time. I believe it to be the latter. Everyone knows that Louisville won the 2013 NCAA championship. Those involved in the wrongdoing lost their careers. That is the effective deterrent, not pretending that games played were not played. Sanctioning the wrong people does not do anything, nor is it an effective deterrent. Lastly, if taking away Louisville’s title is the fair thing to do for Michigan and others that Louisville beat, then why do they all keep the losses? The NCAA vacates wins but leaves the losses in place.

Show cause

One of my favorite NCAA sanctions is the “show cause” penalty. A show-cause penalty is never applied to an administrator, only to a coach or player. Andre McGee, the Louisville assistant that arranged for the dancers, received a 10-year show-cause penalty, which means he cannot be hired as a coach at an NCAA member school without the school showing cause why he should be hired. Of course, no such cause can be shown. But McGee can still work at an NCAA member school ... as a university president. Remember, former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was given a show-cause penalty and fired, and he later was hired as ... wait for it ... a university president at Youngstown State. Not trustworthy enough to be a coach, but trustworthy enough to preside over all students as a university president. Good one. Only the NCAA.

—Dana O’Neil wrote about how Louisville vacating its 2013 title might be just the beginning (subscription) for the program’s dark days.

—As the end of her college career approaches, Myisha Hines-Allen isn’t ready to start looking back just yet.

—God bless you, young man.

—Bill Polian thinks noted tall person Lamar Jackson is too short to play quarterback.

—No, Lamar Jackson is not a damn wide receiver.

—I am this cow. This cow is me.

—Duke’s romp over Louisville last night was the latest case of the Blue Devils’ bizarre success without Marvin Bagley.

—The U of L men’s swimming and diving team captured a gold and a silver medal at the first day of the ACC Championships.

—Donovan continues to rule.

—College basketball’s longest winning streak now belongs to Grambling State, a program long synonymous with losing.

—Shoutout to Ericka Downey, who offered to give up one of her kidneys to help save the life of Billy Gillispie, a man she knew nothing about before hearing his story.

Ericka Downey, 33, is in the medical sales field, so surgery doesn’t intimidate her.

She grew up a Razorbacks fan in Arkansas. She knew Kentucky and Arkansas played Tuesday night in Fayetteville, but Downey has no interest in Gillispie’s past or the places it took him. There are no hidden motivations. Gillispie, 58, needs a kidney transplant. Downey is a willing donor.

Gillispie’s career was a climb from UTEP to Texas A&M, then from Texas A&M to Kentucky. But his dismissal after a two-year stint (2007-09) in Lexington began the descent. There were well-chronicled philosophical differences at Kentucky. He was never the right fit. A gap, as Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said, that couldn’t “be solved by just winning games.”

Downey doesn’t care about any of that.

“If people only judged me off my past, I’d be screwed,” she said. “He has the right to life just like anybody else.”

—Pat Forde’s new Forde Minutes column is here. Louisville is mentioned.

—Matt Norlander of CBS says Rick Pitino’s words haven’t been enough for years, and they weren’t enough yesterday either.

—This is pretty cool.

—Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician serves up the professional’s guide to not giving up your national championship. Syracuse, you may remember, was forced to give up its 1990 national title in lacrosse. When the NCAA arrived on campus to seize the trophy, the brass at ‘Cuse had already hidden it, and to this day, it has never been found by the NCAA or surrendered by the Orange.

That’s how you do it.

—In addition to Louisville basketball and Syracuse lacrosse, 19 other collegiate programs have been forced to vacate national titles over the years. Here they are.

—Local comic illustrator (comist?) Rob Brossart with his take on the current state of things:

—Marc Murphy chimes in as well.

—Vacating wins is stupid.

—Cheer yourself up with a “Still Got This Fat Ass Ring” shirt.

—Pete Thamel of Yahoo continues his “this college basketball scandal is huge, totally huge ... also it one day might sorta come to light .... maybe” reporting.

Financial records, documents and wiretaps tied to prominent former NBA agent Andy Miller and featuring his former associate, Christian Dawkins, have provided a detailed window for authorities into how the college basketball underworld operated, sources with knowledge of the ongoing federal investigation have told Yahoo Sports in recent days.

Sources familiar with the probe told Yahoo Sports that there’s a surprising level of specificity in the documents, bank records and wiretaps involving Miller’s business. They include exact dollar figures and intricate documentation of payments to the families of college players. There are also conversations brokering deals between Dawkins and the clients he was recruiting.

“There are spreadsheets detailing who got paid, how much they got paid and how much more they were planning to pay,” said a source familiar with the investigation. “The feds got everything they wanted and much more. Don’t think it will only be players who ended up signing with ASM that got paid. Those spreadsheets cast a wide net throughout college basketball. If your school produced a first-round pick in the past three years, be worried.”

According to the sources, the financial records from Miller and wiretap conversations featuring Dawkins illuminate the blatant nature of deal-making to land top talent well before the players turn professional. Those deals could threaten the current eligibility of players because of NCAA amateurism rules and retroactively put in peril the contests participated in by those players. Sources said this includes numerous prominent players in the upcoming NCAA tournament, the showcase of college basketball. “It’s all there,” said a different source familiar with the investigation.

Maybe it’s just the last few years making me overly cynical, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Not the actual records, I completely believe that this is real and just about everyone has been cheating their asses off for years, I just don’t think the information (all of it) will ever see the light of day.

At least they got our case out there, though.

—I’ll help hang it if need be.

—Who are the 20 most sought after coaches in college basketball? One of them has a wife who grew up in Louisville. Have you guys seen this? Have you heard about this?

—Top Golf is officially coming to Louisville.

—The latest SB Nation mock NFL Draft has Lamar Jackson going to Arizona.

—Geron Christian is also getting some love as a potential first round pick.

—It happened.

—Sports Illustrated is the latest to look into the possibility of the NBA coming to Louisville.

—While the NCAA is done with Louisville (for now), it still hasn’t ruled on the case of former U of L staffer Brandon Williams.

—The Louisville players enjoyed checking out the cheer sheet put together by some Duke nerds.

Spell Ryan’s girlfriend’s name right next time, doofus.

—Kevin Keatts says NC State is not involved in the FBI’s probe.

—Jeff Walz weighs in on vacating.

—Virginia clinched the top seed in the ACC tournament last night.

—Also, Kyle Guy got engaged, which has to be how the team’s March swoon begins.

—And finally, major props to Taj Louisville downtown for making this happen.

I want a banner on every damn building in this damn city.