You know the 2A, like a bill collector with bad BO, is going to drop in for a not so social visit, but it’s always bracing when you hear the knock on the door.
So the long expected, but far from eagerly anticipated Notice of Allegations against U of L dropped like a shroud on a gorgeous spring Monday.
What I’d love to do is invoke the old saw about UNLV, that the NCAA is so mad at Tark the Shark, they put Eastern Idaho State (Or some equivalent non-power school) on five years probation.
So I wish I could be saying this: The 2A is so pissed at Louisville, it’s threatening Iona with the death penalty.
But no, so anyway . . .
. . . my musings here are not meant to be dismissive of the seriousness of the situation. I believe many, maybe most Cardinal diehards don’t really comprehend that much of the rest of the college hoops universe views U of L as a pariah.
Still I can’t help but get in touch with my inner Clara Peller.
“Where’s the beef?”
Yes, there’s the Level I allegation that Adidas and a couple former Pitino flunkies, Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair, offered and paid hard cash to get Brian Bowen to bring his talents to the Belknap Campus. Also that Adidas is a representative of U of L’s athletic interests. (Along with, we must assume, Indiana, Nebraska, Rutgers, and the Michigan directionals, Eastern, Western and Central, among others.)
There’s a couple of peripheral indictments, including a failure to monitor claim, and that The Rick was a bad boy and needs to go to time out.
But, what I don’t see, and perhaps this is something that could still come later in the protocol, is a severe charge of Lack of Institutional Control.
Which is a relief and makes sense, since one (of four) of the elements of that most serious of misdeeds is “Lack of swift action upon learning of a violation.”
Thanks in part to the dumb luck that Kentucky’s most recent former governor had fired the enabling scofflaw school prexy Jim Ramsey, and replaced the Board of Trustees in 2016.
In the fall of ‘17, acting president Greg Postel deepsixed Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich immediately after the FBI stuff went public.
So, sayonara is the proper way to describe anybody who had any say so during the Sypher matter, when there were hookers in Minardi, and when Brian Bowen, like manna from heaven fell in Pitino’s lap.
And that, as as a former law associate of mine would oft say, is what Louisville has to hang its hat on.
Because, The Truth, Louisville screwed up. Louisville screwed up in the wake of just becoming the first school ever to have an NCAA title officially taken away.
I’m not going to go into whose fault it was, and rehash the arguments Cardinal fans have been making since all this crap came to light.
Nor am I going to rag on about Louisville being the only school that’s disinfected itself, since the whole FBI stuff came down. Because, well, U of L’s the only school that had just been shorn of a crown, and happened to be on probation because of strip show thing.
My sense is the 2A intends to make an example of the University of Louisville.
The question: What type of example?
If the organization’s intention is to affirm who is boss, who’s got the biggest block and tackle, and that schools must do what the bosses in Indy say no matter that there’s been a total Haz Mat clean up, then any and all punishments could be leveled.
Including the SMU football and Kentucky basketball sit out for a season.
But, if the organization’s lesson is that school’s that do right — like replacing the bad actors with folks walking the line, even if slow to do it — then the judgement handed down might not be so harsh.
There are no Mitigating circumstances mentioned in the NoA. But I think that may be because it’s really a factor here in the punishment phase, not the guilt or innocence one.
There is an elucidation of Aggravating factors, like U of L’s history of transgressions. Minor ones from the 50s when some local merchants clothed a couple of recruits who showed up on campus with all their belongings in a paper bag. The Samaki Walker deal. And the big recent one, that officially cost the Cards the ‘13 crown.
So, there it is.
I don’t see imposition of the Death Penalty, my header notwithstanding.
Sitting out a March or two, regardless of record, c’est possible.
I believe the fact that Ramsey and the Board are gone, that Jurich and Pitino were fired with terrible swift sword, should inure to Louisville’s benefit.
Operative word: should.
Fingers crossed, fretting has amped up for the Cardinal Nation.
— c d kaplan