Back from vacation and raring to go, which is perfect because this is the time of the year when Cardinal sports action is flying at us from all angles. We’ll kick off the the real offseason with Least Cool Person Tournament nominations tomorrow. Start thinking about the biggest tools of the last 9 months.
—It’s safe to say that Louisville football’s mega recruiting weekend turned more than a few heads nationally.
Louisville football is hosting its biggest recruiting weekend ever and it has gone all-in on impressing recruits.— State of Louisville (@thestateoflou) June 18, 2022
The visits began Friday with a deep-dive into UofL, followed by a trip to Bowman Field where players ate dinner with private jets and insane cars pic.twitter.com/XYW5PGkn0b
—Top offensive lineman target Madden Sanker says the visit to U of L is going to be tough to beat.
—Louisville is in the top five for another of the weekend’s visitors: Raymond Pulido.
—Four-star class of 2023 CB/WR Martel Hight has decommitted from Louisville. The (extremely) smart money is on High winding up at Vanderbilt.
—Jeff Greer’s latest newsletter focuses on Louisville’s lack of guards and the IARP hearing that took place over the weekend.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room: This is a big weekend for the University of Louisville, its athletics department and its men’s basketball program. This weekend marks a very significant step toward closure from an era of harmful publicity for U of L that has lingered more than your uncle’s post-Thanksgiving stench.
As the University of Louisville prepares for its hearing in front of the Independent Resolution Panel — the last step in the Independent Accountability Resolution Process — I again go back to the new language in the NCAA constitution that insists the divisions and conferences do not pursue postseason bans as punishment for infractions. The reasoning: Such penalties, often doled out years after the people involved in the original rule-breaking have left the school in question, only hurt coaches and students who weren’t involved.
I agree with that sentiment. And that language is why I’m not so sure Louisville gets hit with a postseason ban after all this. I just don’t think the argument for persistent major rule-breaking will win out when the rules on so many of the issues in question have changed in the past few years. Alas, I’ve been wrong before and I’ll be wrong again. For the sake of my friends who are Louisville fans, I hope I am right on this: I see financial penalties, scholarship reductions, recruiting sanctions ... and that’s it.
And remember: There are no appeals. Whatever decision comes from this hearing is final from the NCAA infractions standpoint.
I’ve walked this road before and I refuse to walk it again. For the sake of my own mental health, I refuse to believe that we’re not getting a postseason ban until I read the official ruling with my own eyes.
—Fabio Basili, an unranked point guard from the class of 2023 who could reclassify to the class of 2022, is headed to campus for an official visit today. Basili is a former teammate of current Cardinal Mike James.
—Emoni Bates Update: Illinois is the latest school “rumored” to be involved with Bates, but no one actually seems to know what the hell is going on. With Northwestern’s Pete Nance picking Northwestern over the weekend, Bates is the lone top 100 transfer who remains in the portal.
—The preseason hype for Caleb Chandler continues to mount.
—Louisville is in the top 10 for 5-star class of 2024 CB Jaylen Mbakwe.
—CBS names Kentucky, Pitt and Purdue as three of the five power conference football programs likely to take a step back in 2022.
—People seem to really enjoy my dad’s miniature world.
Annual look at “Glennville,” my dad’s mega miniature city: pic.twitter.com/zbFlVV55i9— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) June 20, 2022
Happy Father’s Day, pops.
—The latest episode of the Cardinal Sports Zone podcast is here.
—Houston Baptist basketball star Darius Lee, who scored 52 points in a game this past season, was shot and killed during a gathering in his hometown of Harlem last night. He was just 21-years-old.
—A reminder that Monty Montgomery and Brock Domann’s youth football camp is coming up this weekend.
Here are the details:
To learn more about camp and register visit https://www.brockdomann.com/camp.
—Angel McCoughtry’s “Reach for the Stars” court is pretty bad ass.
—Both McCoughtry and Jeff Walz would love to see a WNBA franchise in Louisville.
—RIP to Kentucky legend Mike Pratt, “a great friend to everyone.”
—Eric Crawford sums up pretty much all of our feelings regarding Louisville basketball’s five-year wait in NCAA purgatory.
Not a single player involved in this scandal ever played a minute of basketball for Louisville. Not a single senior administrator who could have been involved in such a scheme – if the university had ever even been determined complicit with the scheme, which it has not – remains. Not a single link to those events exists, except for the university’s association with Adidas itself.
Has the NCAA moved to sanction adidas for its role in all this? Has the NCAA had any interaction with the apparel company that began all of this mess in the first place?
Louisville did not derive any advantage from this scheme (though it certainly was an attempt to gain Louisville an advantage) and in fact has willingly and deliberately set its basketball program back in reaction to its part in it. No school in the nation dealt with its program more swiftly or severely in the wake of these allegations. No, it didn’t pull the plug on men’s basketball. It didn’t sentence the program to death. But it sure dismembered it, and the effects are still being felt.
By contrast, another program involved in this same scandal — whose coach was far more complicit judging from text message evidence — just won the NCAA championship last April. You probably remember. You guys gave them the trophy.
If I were Louisville, I would simply convene my defense and then be silent. And we’d all just sit there, one minute for every day that this whole ridiculous process has taken.
Assuming you spend eight hours in session for these hearing days, you’d be sitting there in silence for 3 ½ days.
—Marc Murphy does too.
—Kenny Payne wants to get some of Louisville’s oldest and largest rivals back on the non-conference schedule. Just maybe not in year one.
—U of L women’s basketball assistant Beth Burns is headed back to USC to be the Trojans’ associate head coach.
—Cardinal linebacker MoMo Sanogo says he’s in the best shape he’s been in since 2019, when he was fifth in the SEC in tackles.
—Major congrats to Larry and family.
Liam John O’Bannon - The newest member to The O’Bannon backcourt pic.twitter.com/nvww83AZwD— Coach Larry O'Bannon Jr. (@LarryOBannon) June 16, 2022
—U of L baseball has gotten a commitment from JUCO standout pitcher Jared Lessman.
—Ten Louisville players received some sort of preseason All-ACC recognition from Phil Steele.
—Registration is now open for Sydney Curry’s camp, which is set to take place on July 30.
—Is this cool? It seems cool, but I’m not cool so I really have no idea.
College sports industry news:— Matt 'as seen in WaPo' Brown (@MattBrownEP) June 14, 2022
Hearing tomorrow that @Talkwalker will announce their first D1 partnership tomorrow, with Louisville.
Talkwalker produces cross-platform social media measurement and analytical solutions, data that could be useful for brands and athletes re: NIL
—Kenny Payne has offered 5-star shooting guard Isaiah Elohim (2024), a teammate of Bronny James’ at Sierra Canyon.
—Congrats to former Louisville baseball star Chris Dominguez on being named the new head coach at Bellarmine.
—Five-star big man Aaron Bradshaw appeared to enjoy his official trip to U of L.
—Is Creighton worthy of the hype going into 2022-23? Good college basketball nerd read here.
—Louisville baseball’s Christian Knapczyk and Jack Payton are headed to the 2022 USA Baseball Collegiate National Team Training Camp.
—Former U of L men’s golfer Adam Hadwin finished tied for seventh at the U.S. Open over the weekend, his best major finish to date.
—Hailey Van Lith is representing the United States in the 3-on-3 World Cup.
—Here’s hoping we get to see some more of this at Cardinal Stadium in the future.
—Class of 2023 five-star guard Robert Dillingham is down to Kentucky, Auburn, USC, and Louisville, per his Instagram page. U of L has not officially offered Dillingham, who is widely believed to be headed to Lexington.
—U of L WR target Kyle Parker says the Cards are “building something special.”
—The latest Tomahawk Nation podcast previews the 2022 Louisville football team.
—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show returns from 3-6 this afternoon on 1450AM/96.1FM The Big X. Keith Wynne will join us at 5:05 to talk about the big recruiting weekend for Cardinal football and what may come from it. You can stream the show here and text in at 502-414-1450.