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You Made Your Bed Louisville, Now Lie In It

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Reading the now Amazon bestseller book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules," you get a sense of being overdue for a shower.  The book is not very well written, it is short, and it borders on hyperbolic stories of juvenile sexual conquests being told at a drunken party.

However, there is one important lesson to be learned from the book; it sheds a blinding light on the culture that the University of Louisville has not only condoned, but also promoted.

I dare say there is not a school in America that has accepted more lewd behavior than the supposed bastion of higher education on Floyd Street.

I do not know exactly when Tom Jurich and the university administration decided to sell their souls to the devil, but I believe it has finally come home to roost.

The University of Louisville Athletic Department and Administration bear the qualities of a snake.  Slimy, venomous, cold-blooded, and should never be approached.  The UL "snakes" can even unhinge their jaw to swallow the largest of prey, and then shed their skin every so often to wash away their sins and start over.

The result of years of allowed indecency has manifested a culture of social anarchy and the equivalent of societal martial law, and I am not even talking about Tom Jurich... yet.

Exhibit A: The KFC Yum Center
The Victims: The Taxpayers

The KFC Yum Center is a fantastic venue for sports and entertainment.  It is also an albatross on the taxpayers of the city to the tune of a BILLION DOLLARS.  The total damage was about $649 Million in taxpayer burden, with another $349 million in investor bonds (junk bonds per Standard and Poors as of 2013).

Denis Frankenberger published a 38-page analysis of the financial situation and had some not so subtle insight.

The Arena Task Force members and subsequently the Arena's Directors clearly had close links to the University of Louisville.  In the end, the Arena Authority together with the University of Louisville Athletic Association crafted a lease with terms so over-burdensome, so skewed, so one-sided that any reasonable person, including those who were parties to the lease, knew or should have known that the Arena could not have succeeded financially under the onerous terms of the lease.

If you are not aware of the details, I suggest you read the analysis; it is amazingly one-sided toward the university.  The biggest question regarding the arena is why would the University of Louisville set terms that are so overwhelming for the arena that financial failure is imminent?

Here is the rub, if the arena goes under; the University has first right of refusal to purchase the arena.  If UL plays its cards right, it will have been able to essentially steal the Yum Center from the city with the unwitting help of its hard working taxpayers.

Exhibit B: The University of Louisville Foundation
The Victims: Anyone connected with the university

The University of Louisville Foundation manages the institution's 1.1 BILLION DOLLAR endowment. This same foundation is under a state audit stemming from findings that UL President Dr. Ramsey received 2.7 Million in deferred compensation payments as well as a $12,000 a year car allowance for his wife.

There was another 3.3 million dollars in deferred payments to two of Dr. Ramsey's top aides.  There is also the 1.2 million paid to Ramsey as compensation for being the UL president instead of retaining his state government job and receiving a pension.

I think we can all agree that the organization in control of a $1.1 Billion endowment that makes such fiscal decisions is questionable at best.

They say that the coverup is always worse than the crime; the university has also participated in trying to hide indiscretions yet to be fully known.

Last year, the university paid three school officials more than twice their earned retirement with the specific intent to keep them quiet.

The University of Louisville last year paid three officials close to President James Ramsey twice as much to take early retirement as other administrators, so they would keep quiet about sensitive information the university did not want them to disclose.

Records show that the school paid a full year's salary to outgoing Vice Presidents Michael Curtin ($252,350) and Larry Owsley ($248,255) and to assistant to the president Vivian Hibbs ($66,391) in part to induce them not to "disparage, demean, or impugn the university or its senior leadership."

"We had to give them something,"

said Mark

Exhibit C: Tom Jurich: The Muscle

In one of the greatest movies ever made, The Godfather, there is a hierarchy within "the family."  Tom Jurich plays the Clemenza role of enforcer in the L1C4 family.

A lot like Clemenza in The Godfather, Jurich is close enough to the top to be considered vital and be given the autonomy to do whatever he hell he wants as long as he can get away with it and help the family's bottom line.

It is the worst kept secret in the world that Tom Jurich has absolute control over the Louisville media.  You will never see a UL media member go at Tom or his program with any real teeth; this is by design or fear. He controls the flow of stories and the timing of anything that is released, as well as the tone.

The program knew about the book in August, but only recently addressed it by holding a press conference proclaiming surprise.  Even Pitino's lackey Pat Forde exclusively released the story... on a Friday evening, and was already falling out of the national limelight by Monday.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Tom Jurich is the poster child, he is a man that goes unchecked and above reproach.  The time of honoring himself is on the back-9 it appears.

Exhibit D: Bobby Petrino
The Victims: Motorcycles, Fans, Players, and Parents.

Bobby Petrino's shenanigans are well documented, yet the man is sitting in the catbird seat of the Louisville Football program.  This is the case despite every shred of evidence to suggest he is simply put, a terrible person.  The high level version of the full circle biography goes like this: Petrino made his name at UL, lied about having wandering eyes, left at the first big opportunity, screwed up his career, came running back to UL and Jurich rolled out the red carpet.

The real life equivalent of this situation would be if you were to date someone who lies and cheats on you, then see them lie and cheat on 2-3 others, only to welcome them back with open arms; foregoing all of your integrity because he/she was a good cook.

Jurich hired a man who not only cast the program aside like a used piece of toilet paper, but who also was involved in his own sex/mistress/employment issue.  At Arkansas, a married Bobby Petrino not only committed adultery, but he HIRED his mistress to the university payroll.

Not only did this man (who Jurich probably helped unpack when he came back) commit such idiocy, he tried to cover it up (see a pattern?).  He clumsily lied about the events and even asked a witness to help commit the cover-up.  He convinced the University to release a statement that he was alone in the accident.

Petrino not only manifested a hopeless situation, he tried to drag EVERYONE into it with him.  In Tom Jurich's eyes, this apparently made Mr. Petrino a "Louisville Man."

Jurich claims that Bobby is a changed man, saying, "I Want the New Bobby Petrino, He's Convinced Me He's A Changed Man."

My question to Jurich is what exactly did ol Bob say in that meeting, because it needs to be bottled and sold for billions.  Zebras do not change their stripes, and Bobby Petrino has left a wake of destruction and deceit at every stop.

I highly encourage you to read this timeline of Bob's shenanigans by SB Nation's very own Pete Volk. The Cliffs Notes go as follows.

  • Leaves Jacksonville to be Auburn's O-Coordinator without telling coach Tom Coughlin
  • Accepts the UL job, only to interview for the Auburn head job AFTER accepting UL's offer... and while Tommy Tuberville was still employed at Auburn.
  • Before his 10-year extension, he interviewed with the Raiders, Notre Dame, and LSU
  • Six months after signing a TEN-YEAR extension, he is hired by the Falcons
  • Thirteen games into his NFL stint, he leaves Atlanta with a 78-word note left in the locker room for the players and coaches to find out. The words "Gutless Bastard" and "Coward" are used to describe it.
  • Goes to Arkansas and hires his sidepiece, subsequently and rightfully loses his job.
  • He leaves Western Kentucky after ONE season for greener pasture

This is the resume that Tom Jurich had in front of him and said, "hell yeah."  Any wonder why the student athletes at Louisville are not model citizens.  The saying goes "Sh** in, Sh** out," not sure how you could expect anything less.  The irony is Jurich cast aside integrity for wins when he hired Bob, now he has neither.  (h/t to my Wildcat Friend Bernie Sadori)

Exhibit E: Rick Pitino
The Victims: The Fans, The Taxpayers, A tattoo artist, and an aborted fetus

The decision to hire Pitino was a great one; it was a no-brainer to be honest.  Bringing in a future hall of famer with a ring was great for the Cardinals.  Of course, Pitino proved why Louisville cannot have nice things.

One romantic night at a local Italian Restaurant in town, Rick Pitino chose Karen Sypher.  Fifteen seconds later the deed was done and by his own admission, down his leg.

Pitino would survive the embarrassing debacle, even though he admitted to paying her off, which she used to terminate the pregnancy.  All the while he had an assistant coach in the middle of it, Tim Sypher ended up marrying Karen... coincidentally, I guess?

FAST FORWARD TO TODAY

Now we have the escort scandal going on at Louisville.  Andre McGee is a former player of Pitino's; he was also on Pitino's staff during the time of the alleged escort services.

There are plenty of sordid details in the book that Katina Powell goes in-depth in discussing.  The level of intimacy and accuracy she describes the players and operations of the program make the details impossible to dismiss.

There are text messages that have been corroborated, there are payments to her that she has receipt of, and there are enough journal entries and documentation to potentially corroborate the vast majority of the accusations.

The most important piece of this puzzle is the validity of the allegations and being able to find the smoking gun and/or paper trail.  The Co-Author on this project is Dick Cady, the same Dick Cady who is a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist.  He has written six books and been in the journalism industry for 40 years now.

This is not your average Joe at the tip of this spear.

"The book has been thoroughly vetted," Dick Cady said.  "We weren't trying to hide motivation."

Cady says that he and a publisher met with Powell 40 to 50 times during a six-month period.  From phone calls and text messages to receipts and pictures, Cady says they have the proof.

They interviewed dancers and tried to talk with players, recruits, and coaches.

"We did our homework, we did our job, we gathered the facts and sought to find the truth," he said.  "And we believe that the book itself is pretty convincing."

"I'm also confident that once the dust settles, as they say, the truth will be reached.  And I think the truth is in that book.  I wouldn't put my name on it if I didn't think so."

Cady says Powell has even more information not revealed in the book that she will eventually come forward with.

That final sentence should scare the bejeesus out of anyone involved with the UL program.

CONCLUSION

The truth of the Louisville Cardinals escort situation likely falls in the middle of being made up and every detail being true.  Playing Devil's Advocate, lets speculate that say just the core of the allegations is true.  No major infractions come about and the Cards keep their banner, but they are hit with some sanctions.

Any rational person can look at this situation from every angle and realize the same conclusion... this happened; only the degree of salaciousness is in question.  Now this athletic department has the head coaches of its two major sports programs with ties to THREE sex scandals.

Even if he had no knowledge of this, Rick also has to be accountable for what goes on during his watch.  Considering his past and him being one degree away from this scandal will likely spell early retirement for him.  However, it is the University of Louisville and he is just as likely to get a contract extension.

There is also the gender discrimination lawsuit from 2008 that then Senior Athletics Administrator Julie Hermann was in the middle.  The school was recently ruled against by the Kentucky Supreme Court and the track coach awarded just under $372,000 from the school.

The bottom line is The University of Louisville is a cesspool of sleaze that has gone unchecked for far too long.  The culture that has been manifested is in direct correlation with the social downfall of the school.

Honestly, the city deserves better than a paper mache organized crime syndicate running its university and athletic program.

The hubris of the lot of the UL administration has turned the University into a giant caricature and the damage may in fact be irreparable short of a whitewashing of the scum.

The only real question I have is, will anyone in Louisville stand up and say they have had enough?