—The U of L women’s basketball program has added two transfers — Emily Engstler of Syracuse and Chelsie Hall, a graduate transfer out of Vanderbilt.
—Jonathan Wasserman’s latest NBA mock draft for Bleacher Report does not include David Johnson (or any other Louisville player).
—Dana Evans officially says farewell to Card Nation.
—The Ballard Bruins are headed to the final four of the boys state tournament after a 61-53 win over Bowling Green Friday afternoon.
—Malik Cunningham is the 8th-best returning QB in college football when it comes to yards per play (Athletic link). I didn’t realize this, but he also led all Power 5 QBs in rushes of 10 or more yards (37) last season.
—Good read here on a bizarro Final Four where David has 11 national championships and Goliath has none.
—Indiana star Trayce Jackson-Davis is returning to Bloomington to play for new head coach Mike Woodson.
—Very cool to see Jamon Brown dipping a toe into the horse racing pool.
We caught up with the connections of Jeannie's Beepbeep before Race 2, Owner @keenelandracing, Professional Athlete Jamon Brown who shared his excitement about getting involved in the sport of horse racing along with Trainer Mark Simms, Jr. & @HarbutBldstock.— TVG (@TVG) April 2, 2021
Live now on TVG: pic.twitter.com/NUxDZ5owRM
—Bojangles is finally coming to Louisville.
—This story from The Athletic’s CJ Moore and Brendan Marks on how Roy Williams got his start at Kansas is really, really good.
—Kansas has given Bill Self a new “lifetime contract” complete with a clause that says he cannot be fired regardless of how the program’s case with the NCAA ends up shaking out.
Pat Forde writes about the development.
The school is facing five Level I allegations—the most severe the NCAA can hand down—related to men’s basketball. Among them are a lack of institutional control charge and a lack of head coach control charge that is aimed directly at Self. The NCAA also has a long list of aggravating factors in the case and a short list of mitigating factors, which means the potential penalties could skew to the high end of the NCAA penalty matrix.
In an aggravated case, the postseason ban penalty is two to four seasons. If the NCAA hits Kansas with a four-year ban, even Coach For Life Bill Self would struggle to keep the program relevant.
And then there are the potential coach penalties. In the Notice of Allegations, the NCAA wrote, “The enforcement staff believes a hearing panel could enter a show-cause order. …” An aggravated case with a show-cause penalty could result in a suspension of the head coach for 50–100% of a season. Kansas seems willing to ride out a season without Self as its coach, if necessary.
Self’s new contract does state that he would receive only half his allotted salary for the period of time he is suspended, if that sanction is handed down. But as noted by the Kansas City Star, that doesn’t affect the $2.435 million retention bonus he’s set to receive every year.
Kansas has shown a willingness to lie to itself and its fans (and the NCAA) about the school’s culpability in the infractions case, which centers on Adidas reps forking over piles of cash to Jayhawks players. The school is clinging to the laughable premise that said Adidas reps (specifically Gatto, T.J. Gassnola and Merl Code) actually defrauded the school by paying players to go to Kansas, and that the school was stunned to learn that such shenanigans were transpiring. That led to the dirtiest deal of them all: Kansas suing Gatto, a mid-level Adidas employee, for $1.1 million. He wound up agreeing to pay a far smaller amount in restitution, but the school’s intent was to financially ruin a guy who was trying to help the basketball team win games.
That’s not how any of it works, of course—the shoe companies are very much doing the bidding of the schools by paying players, and the coaches very much understand what’s going on. The Adidas reps weren’t housed in the campus hotel for Midnight Madness on the same floor with recruit Billy Preston by accident (although the school has argued that). Per Self’s famous text to Gassnola, which was entered into evidence at the federal trial, “Just got to get a couple real guys.”
—Chris Beard’s deal with Texas is reportedly a seven-year, $35 million contract that has a base salary of $5 million in each year of the deal plus incentives.
—Dana Evans is a USBWA First Team All-American.
—Florida State standout RaiQuan Gray is headed to the NBA.
One hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Words can’t explain how much this university mean to me but it’s just another step along my journey pic.twitter.com/fQAyslZ0RN— RaiQuan Gray (@Tgray4) April 2, 2021
I, for one, am not sad to see him go.
—Pat Forde looks at the top options to replace Roy Williams at North Carolina.
—Indiana defensive end Popeye Williams has Louisville in his top five list of schools.
—Apparently Tark saw it coming when no one else did.
Thirty years ago, I was sitting next to Jerry Tarkanian on the UNLV plane to Indy for part of the flight & he kept saying, "We have nobody to cover Laettner...Nobody to cover Laettner." I thought he was just saying that. I never thought that Vegas team would ever lose. https://t.co/jenJlCJj0y— Ian O'Connor (@Ian_OConnor) April 2, 2021
—The Louisville softball team is set to play four games at Pitt, the former home of head coach Holly Aprile.
Aprile has not been back to Pitt since making the jump to U of L after the 2018 season. The Cards are currently 10-14 overall and just 4-9 in ACC play.
—Louisville swimmer Nick Albiero was a top five performer at the NCAA Championships.
—The 5th-ranked Louisville field hockey team will face No. 8 Syracuse on Sunday.
—And finally, the New York Giants have signed former Cardinal tight end Cole Hikutini.