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Wednesday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Annika had to rep the Cards for “Sports Day” at her daycare in Raleigh.

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—U of L announced Wednesday afternoon that the Galt House has committed $3.5 million to the Cardinal Athletic Fund. The money will be used to renovate and expand the Kueber Center, and the football suite levels on the east and west sides of Cardinal Stadium will now be known as The Galt House Hotel Suite Level.

—Watch list season rolls on with Javian Hawkins getting the nod on the Doak Walker watch list.

—The Intercollegiate has an interesting (lengthy) read on the role of consultants in college athletics. It includes comments from both Vince Tyra and Chuck Smrt.

Smrt argues that it would be nearly impossible for a school to maintain staffers with the specific expertise and necessary bandwidth to handle an NCAA investigation — although, he says, a number of schools try.

“Most institutions are busy, so you add this workload on this, then you run the potential risk that person’s other duties are hampered or not done as well, and it could present another issue,” Smrt says. ”We know the drill, and we know how the NCAA operates.”

Plenty of ardent Louisville fans disagree, including Bill Stone, an outspoken athletic department board member. Smrt incurred the Card faithful’s wrath when, despite his large fees, the school still wound up on NCAA probation, lost scholarships and vacated victories—including the 2013 NCAA basketball title. They saw other schools, such as Penn State, get in dire NCAA trouble, then wriggle out of much of it. What, Cards fans wondered, was all that consultant money for?

Tyra thinks that criticism is unfair. “I think there was a fan perception that it was Chuck’s guidance and decision as much as it was administration’s,” says the Louisville AD. “And there was speculation as to who really made that decision … and somehow Chuck got thrown into the mix, and he got to carry the whole rap.”

While declining to specifically address his Louisville critics, Smrt admits there’s only so much consultants can do with NCAA violations. “If you have a very serious case, you are going to have a very serious penalty,” he says. “None of us can change the facts. We can try to make them look better, but you still are faced with the facts.”

—Louisville’s own Marvin Mitchell has been named to the ACC’s Committee for Racial and Social Justice.

—COVID-19 won’t kill sports journalism, but it’s going to change it forever.

—Pauly Paulicap committing to DePaul is the best thing that’s happened in 2020.

—Matt Norlander says the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee needs some new blood. I volunteer Keith Wynne.

—Happy Louisville Burger Week.

—Being older than some of his coaches doesn’t bother new baseball Cardinal Anthony Silkwood.

—Pete Thomas’ first hole-in-one should count twice since he did it with a Srixon.

—Matt McGavic predicts the five 2021 recruits who will receive the last Louisville scholarships available.

—Five of the seven JCPS board members told the Courier Journal today that they will vote for the 2020-21 school year to begin without students in classrooms.

—Louisville’s 2009 takedown of No. 1 Pitt will be airing on the ACC Network tonight at 8 p.m. Earl Clark’s final minute dagger produced one of the best Freedom Hall crowd explosions ever.

—Anonymous coaches were extremely hard on Kentucky’s NBA draft hopefuls in this piece for The Athletic.

Coach Seven: “Don’t even get me started on Hagans. I think he’s trash (as a player). I just don’t think he’s very good. I think he thinks he’s a lot better than what he is. Defensively, everyone talks about him. And on film, he for sure disrupts. He has quick hands, he’s strong, he fights through dribble hand-offs, he puts a body on you. But like, it’s kind of overstated. I think he’s a selfish defender. He wants deflections and steals. And that has nothing to do with being a good defensive player. I think he’s a selfish defensive player.

“And offensively, he’s limited. I didn’t see that much athleticism and speed. We were begging him to shoot. I don’t know if he’s going to make it. What does he do? What does he do well? He got in trouble with turnovers this year. He was turning that thing over like crazy. He did not scare me at all. Preparing for them, he was the least of my worries. I think Saben Lee at Vanderbilt is way better than Ashton Hagans.”

—The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy writes that if the college basketball season has to be contracted because of COVID-19, the NCAA tournament may need to be expanded.

—For the first time since 1945, the annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day has been canceled.

—I wish this didn’t annoy me as much as it does.

An asterisk for a team graphic? Petty and unnecessary, but you do you. For an individual glue guy graphic when the player in question actually had his MOP status reinstated through legal process? Dumb as shit.

—TuTu Atwell has been named a preseason All-American by Phil Steele.

—Follow-up video:

—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.

—The crew over at The Crunch Zone also have a new pod out.

—RIP to The Irish Hulk’s dreads.

—Travis F’ing Diener hitting the game-winner in the championship game of the first major basketball event in four months couldn’t be more on-brand for 2020.

—Gary Parrish of CBS writes that a full college basketball season that starts on time is quickly becoming a heavy underdog.

—Great stuff on Carlik Jones here:

—Cort Dennison preaches that “continuity equals consistency” for a Louisville defense that continues to learn defensive coordinator Bryan Brown’s scheme.

—U of L QB recruit Shedeur Sanders (Deion’s son) committed to Florida Atlantic earlier this week.

”The Hero of Goodall Park” is a fantastic read if you have the time.

—Maybe the most satisfying highlight of the season:

—The CJ’s Cameron Teague writes about the brother relationship of Dez and Christian Fitzpatrick.

—Cool story here on Akoy Agau, whose video game company has organized a virtual NCAA tournament featuring reps from around 40 of the teams that were projected in the 2020 bracket.

—I miss Fresh (and everyone else who won’t be back) already.

—There’s talk of the college basketball season not starting until January, and also talk of the college basketball season starting two weeks early. Who the hell knows?

—U of L’s depth at outside linebacker is “a good problem to have.”

—Lamar Jackson has an MVP, now he wants the other things that Patrick Mahomes has.

—Chad Johnson is a Tutu fan.

—Hailey Van Lith is officially in The Ville.

—Dave Lackford of Rivals reacts to Louisville picking up Liberty transfer Kei’Trel Clark.

—Lamar Jackson reacts to his new Madden rating:

—Big Red Louie identifies five Cardinals who need the 2020 season the most.

—Seven Louisville baseball players are headed to summer league all-star games.

—The national recruiting folks over at Rivals play “fact or fiction,” and Louisville’s 2021 football class is the first subject.

1. Louisville has the best class that few are paying attention to.

Farrell’s take: FACT. Every time I turn around, it seems another prospect is committing to Louisville and the class is now in the national top 15. While the Cardinals’ class isn’t loaded with four-stars, I like the program’s recruiting geography in this cycle. Thirteen of Louisville’s 19 commitments hail from the Southeast and I especially like the job the Cardinals are doing in North Carolina and Georgia. These are very talented, deep states and mid-level three-stars can often become standouts if developed properly. Keep an eye on this class.

Gorney’s take: FICTION. Louisville is doing a great job, but Wisconsin is doing even better and a lot of the Badgers success has been done quietly. They went to Florida for four-star DB

Ricardo Hallman. They beat Iowa and others for four-star defensive end T.J. Bollers even though he lives down the street from Iowa’s campus. Wisconsin beat out Notre Dame and others for four-star DB Hunter Wohler. Again, the Badgers are loading up with elite offensive linemen who will grow into monsters once they get to Madison. Paul Chryst and his staff are quietly doing an excellent job.

—Business First reacts to The Galt House’s gift to U of L.

—And finally, Louisville is a six-seed in Joe Lunardi’s updated offseason Bracketology.