clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You Made Your Bed Louisville, Now Lie in it; Part 2

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Louisville Announce Move To ACC Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

When I wrote this article in October of 2015, I thought I had composed a comprehensive description of the cesspool that was brewing at the University of Louisville.

It turns out that I was merely about 60% into a full-blown volcano of utterly reprehensible behavior. Even worse, behavior that seems to be condoned and defended at every turn.

It feels like Louisville’s athletic program is so desperate to be considered one of the big boys that they are no longer even hiding their transgressions, as evidenced by Tom Jurich’s indifference toward cheating.

UL is not ‘sort of’ in the wrong here. They are not a victim of the media, as they portray. UL is clearly a party to cheating, they knowingly took information from a jilted lover-esque coach looking to bring down a program. Not only did they take said information, they disseminated it to the proper coaches.

You cannot look up ‘cheating’ in the dictionary and get a more clear definition than the aforementioned string of events.

Then, of course, Louisville fanboys and water carriers took to social media to claim the cheating does not matter because UL did not need it.

The Cards smoked the Demon Deacons in the 4th quarter en route to a blowout, so who cares. No, seriously...cheating is okay because they did not need the information to win:

I personally believe the above mentality, which is prevalent among UL fans, is one that stems from an almost albatross-esque desperation to be considered nationally relevant.

The sad part of this entire saga is how Louisville even entertained the notion of getting information FROM a Wake Forest guy without saying “no.” They were a 30-point favorite and a win was almost inevitable. What was the upside here, winning by 40?

Knowing that a staff was willing to try and get an edge on a team they were so heavily favored against makes you wonder to what lengths they will go for an edge against quality opponents?

Bobby Petrino claims he had no knowledge of the goings on, even though it is very likely that both of his coordinators were aware. Do you really think Petrino was in the dark? Sound like a familiar pattern, basketball fans?

Without further ado, enjoy the updates to my article from October of 2015 below:

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 had more accepted 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 do know it has come home to roost.

The University of Louisville Athletic Department and Administration bear the qualities of the creepiest 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 head of the snake is what controls everything, you cut off the head, and the body dies. The head of the Louisville snake is the entity that has manifested a culture of social anarchy and the equivalent of societal martial law, and I am not 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?

There 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.

Since this writing, state lawmakers have now unanimously requested an audit of the KFC Yum center via the Louisville Arena Authority.

"So you can see there's no partisan politics involved...Our primary concern is the financial future of the Yum! Center, and within the next couple of years we’re going to have a financial crisis on our hands,” state Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, said of the unanimous vote.


The university's athletics programs reap a "tremendous profit" from their partnership with the Yum! Center, McDaniel said, and it's a deal that "ultimately might strangle" the arena itself.

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 questionable at best.

They say that the cover up 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 reason 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

Since the original writing, the foundation has been under an audit and the results have recently come out. A Cliffs Notes:

  • in 2014 the foundation exceeded its authority to pay former President Ramsey
  • Ramsey violated foundation bylaws by appointing his former chief of staff, Kathleen Smith with benefits that also violated bylaws
  • $67 Million in loans against the endowment without prior notification

To add to the above, recently it came to light that the University has paid an executive 1.15 Million Dollars to simply leave the University. David Dunn was the Executive VP for health affairs for the University and has been under FBI investigation since 2014 for misuse of funds.

Dunn has been on paid leave since the allegations surfaced, now they have shelled out a million bucks for him to go away.

If I was under FBI investigation at my job for misuse of funds, I would be fired, not given a million dollar parachute. Well, that is because I do not know where the bodies are buried.

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 role of enforcer in the crooked family that is L1C4.

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 control over most Louisville media outlets. You rarely see any media go at Tom or his program with any real teeth; this is by design or fear. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Tom Jurich is the poster child of this, he is a man that goes unchecked and above reproach.

You would think that Tom Jurich would be the kind of Athletic Director that would want to run a clean program. He walked into the UL job in 1997 with the stink of a possible death penalty hanging over the program.

Under Tom Jurich’s reign, there seems to be a scandal of some sort on a recurring basis. Since 2000, I am betting The University of Louisville has been involved in more scandals than most any University EVER has.

Jurich’s response today is amazingly tone deaf, the indifference to the gravity of the situation is astounding. Not only did the response fail to hold ANYONE accountable, it came off as a pity party and almost a ‘how dare you’ tone to the media.

“Our offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway and Tommy Elrod have known each other since 2007. Lonnie received a call from Elrod during the week of the Wake Forest game, and some information was shared with him that week.

“Among the communication were a few plays that were sent and then shared with our defensive staff. None of the special plays were run during the course of the game. Our defense regularly prepares for similar formations every week in their normal game plan.

“Any other information that may have been discussed was nothing that our staff had not already seen while studying Wake Forest in their preparations for the game and the material was not given any further attention. I’m disappointed that this issue has brought undue attention to our football staff as we prepare for our upcoming bowl game.”

Dan Wetzel absolutely nailed the ‘translation’ of what this really means right here; well worth the time to read the article.

Exhibit D: Bobby Petrino

The Victims: Motorcycles, Fans, Players, Recruits and Parents.

Bobby Petrino's shenanigans are well documented, yet the man is sitting in the catbird seat of the Louisville Football program despite every shred of evidence to suggest he is simply put, a terrible person. The high level version of the 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/money/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 are below.

In 2001, Petrino resigns from his offensive coordinator job with the Jacksonville after only 1 year to head to Auburn. Oh yeah, and he did not tell Tom Coughlin. Coughlin found out when he saw the news conference on TV announcing him as the Auburn coach.

In 2003, his first year as a head coach at the University of Louisville:

“Petrino went behind the back of his employer and his onetime boss, Tuberville, to negotiate a deal replacing him at Auburn. He held a clandestine meeting across the Ohio River from Louisville in southern Indiana with Auburn officials, two days before both the Tigers and Cardinals played their final regular-season games…

Petrino lied about having any contact with Auburn officials — until two reporters for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal confronted him with documentation of the private plane that brought the university president and athletic director into Petrino’s backyard. I (Pat Forde) was one of the two reporters. And even when faced with the evidence, Petrino resisted telling the truth until Auburn issued a statement owning up to the whole affair.

Boxed into a corner, Petrino asked forgiveness and chalked it up to the inexperience of a “young coach.” Louisville forgave him because he was 9-3 and his offense blew up scoreboards.”

In 2004, Petrino says “I want to make it clear that I’m not interested in any other coaching jobs, and am happy at the University of Louisville.” Petrino would interview with Notre Dame and supposedly talked with Florida and Ole Miss. He then interviewed with LSU and pulled out when he realized Les was going to get it. Oh and got a huge raise from Louisville

In 2005, Petrino interviews with Oakland Raiders.

In 2006, Petrino signs 10 year $25 million deal with Louisville with a $1 mil buyout, dropping this quote:

“We did want to make a statement,” Petrino said. “I also wanted to make sure that everyone understood – and I know I’ve said it – that this is where my family wants to be and where I want to be. But I want everyone to really believe it when it is said.”

Asked later if he was emphatically telling other teams not to pursue him, Petrino said, “Yeah. That’s why we did the buyout. That’s why I wanted the buyout, so everybody understands that.”

FIVE MONTHS LATER; he bolted to the Atlanta Falcons

In November 2007, Petrino is 3-8 with the Falcons and drops this quote:

“I haven’t given it [college coaching vacancies] one bit of thought,” he said.

14 days later… Petrino posts a 78-word letter in the Falcons locker room saying he was leaving for Arkansas.

In April 2012, Petrino crashes his motorcycle. Petrino asked a witness to lie about him being alone in the accident. He lied about it to the AD and all officials. As we all now know, Petrino was having an affair with a team staff member that he had hired and given $20,000. Did I mention the 25-year-old girl was engaged to someone else?

In December 2012, Petrino is named coach of Western Kentucky. Ready to turn his life around, his career around, restore his name and reputation. Supposedly committed to turning WKY into a powerhouse program:

The new coach did meet with Hilltoppers players on Monday afternoon. Petrino expects the program to consistently win conference championships, bowl games and to compete for a BCS bowl berth.

Athletic director Todd Stewart believes Petrino can take WKU to the next level.

"I'm confident that he'll be here for a while and hope that he's here for a long time," Stewart said.

Oh, that lasted one season…

In February 2015; Petrino pulled a scholarship from Matt Colburn, a South Carolina three-star RB, just TWO DAYS before national signing day. The kid had been committed for over 8 months and had not wavered on his commitment.

To really dump salt into the wound, Petrino could not even call the kid to do it. He had an assistant coach, the linebackers coach, call the kid, a running back, to inform him that 48 hours before signing day, (when most schools had the vast majority of schools had filled their classes) he no longer had a home in Louisville’s class.

December 2016; the aforementioned Wake Forest scandal and admitted cheating.

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 a pregnancy. All the while he had an assistant coach in the middle of it, Tim Sypher ended up marrying Karen… coincidentally?

Now we have the escort scandal on-going 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 source of the book. 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."

I wrote back then that the truth of the UL escort situation likely falls in the middle of being made up and every detail being true. Playing Devil’s Advocate, I speculated that even if just the core of the allegations was true, it is still an abhorrent offense.

Fast forward to today and we now know that virtually all of it happened and was corroborated to the tune of 17 recruits with sex acts of varying degrees.

This athletic department has the head coaches of its two major sports programs with ties to THREE sex scandals.

The only thing we do not know yet is just how severe the punishment will be from the NCAA.


The University of Louisville is a cesspool of sleaze that has gone unchecked for far too long. The culture that has been manifested is the direct component in 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 decision makers has turned the University into a giant caricature and the damage is irreparable without a whitewashing of the scum.

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

UPDATED: This University has devolved to a point where I am no longer questioning if anyone will stand up and say they have had enough.

I believe we have crossed a threshold where not only is there nobody willing to stand up and say they have had enough, it is beginning to feel like standard operating procedure.

Much like a pig loves slop, the University of Louisville loves scandal.