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Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Louisville down to eight players with new departure

Andy Lyons | Getty Images

Louisville is running out of basketball players for Chris Mack’s first year.

The team was already running low on bodies, and it got worse today with the news that would-be sophomore forward Lance Thomas will transfer to another program.

A four-star prospect in last year’s class, Thomas was expected to provide much-needed depth in Mack’s frontcourt, which lost Deng Adel, Ray Spalding and Anas Mahmoud from a year ago. Thomas will instead leave the Cardinal brotherhood behind, telling his Twitter followers, “After returning home at the end of the semester I was just thinking about my future. I feel it’s in my best interest to look at other options for my career.”

Thomas’ exit leaves Mack with only eight scholarship players on next year’s roster, which includes the recent grad transfer addition from Samford.

Good luck, Chris!


Louisville Reaches Settlement with Tom Jurich

WDRB

The University of Louisville and Tom Jurich have reached a formal agreement to part ways.  Instead of litigating the matter, Jurich and the Louisville Board of Trustees settled out of court.

The former UofL athletic director will be paid $4.5 million for his termination.  Jurich will receive a few extra benefits as well, like eight club-level seats and two parking pass to UofL football and basketball games for the next 20 years.  UofL also agreed to strike from the record the aggressive termination letter written interim President Greg Postel.

Meanwhile, Rick Pitino is still fighting in court with the Board of Traitors over his settlement, which should produce quite a few fireworks.

Find more details of the settlement in the WDRB report.


Meanwhile, at the KFC Yum! Center…

Meanwhile, at the KFC Yum! Center…

The KFC Yum! Center is removing its “2013 National Champions” window display that once hung so proudly across the arena’s glass front. It’s yet another tragic part of the process of removing any and all references to Louisville’s fictional NCAA championship of five years ago.

A friend of the KSR program snapped a photo of its removal Monday afternoon.

@bigern97

So sad.

So, so sad.

 

 

(Just kidding I love it.)


Phone records show UofL assistant was in contact with Andre McGee at time of parties

Phone records show UofL assistant was in contact with Andre McGee at time of parties

A new report from the hardworking staff over at WDRB exposes more juicy details regarding the Louisville basketball program and the program’s hiring of strippers and prostitutes.

According to the report, phone records obtained by University of Louisville police show former UofL assistant Mike Balado was in communication with Andre McGee over a five-day period in July 2014. This is around the time McGee was alleged to have arranged for Katina Powell and friends to visit the Minardi Hall basketball dorm for parties, while McGee was miles away from campus as an assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Records show Balado (or Coach Mike, as he’s known to those familiar with the scandal) and McGee spoke by phone or text over a dozen times. Coincidentally, McGee was in contact with Katina Powell at the same time. (Purely a coincidence, I’m sure.) WDRB has the conversation log and it shows McGee’s communication with the other two were only minutes apart.

Balado, now the head coach at Arkansas State, denied any involvement.

Riggggght.

[University of Louisville police focused on phone calls, texts between Andre McGee and former assistant coach]


Ex-UofL employee says she was fired for reporting coach was having an affair with co-worker

Ex-UofL employee says she was fired for reporting coach was having an affair with co-worker

There really isn’t a dull moment at the University of Louisville, is there? After this morning’s news that the UofL Board of Trustees is suing former President James Ramsey for misusing university funds, there’s even more drama to share. According to WDRB, former UofL associate athletic director Kimberly Maffet is suing UofL for firing her for health issues and reporting “wrongful conduct” including a UofL coach having an affair with a co-employee.

Now, the coach isn’t named, only listed in the lawsuit as “Coach 3,” but Maffet claims reporting the relationship, which violated the university’s sexual harassment policy, is part of the reason she was let go earlier back in February. She also reported a different coach verbally abusing employees. According to Maffet, that behavior was not only typical, but continuously covered up by the department.

Maffet claims her attempts to report the violation “were rebuffed” and other employees “attempted to hide” the information. […]

Maffet described the athletics department as having a “culture of misogynism, sexism, lying, cover-up, and bullying in the Athletic Department,” according to the suit.

Can somebody pass the popcorn?

[WDRB]


University of Louisville Sues Former President James Ramsey

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees will sue former President James Ramsey, his chief aid Kathleen Smith, and others for misusing university funds.

The lawsuit that will be filed today in Jefferson Circuit Court alleges that from 2008 to 2016, Ramsey and others took millions from the UofL Foundation’s endowment to make unauthorized, risky investments.  They allegedly attempted to hide the transactions to excessively compensate themselves.

The new chair of the board, David Grissom, said in a release: “Millions of dollars of donations originally intended for the benefit of the University and its students instead were used to pay excessive compensation.” He adds, “Other funds were directed toward risky and inappropriate investments, and spending regularly exceeded the Foundation’s own policy.”

Click here to read the entire lawsuit and the report from WDRB.


Required Reading: “The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino”

Required Reading: “The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino”

Coming to the adult section of a bookstore near you this fall, “The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino: A Story of Corruption, Scandal, and the Big Business of College Basketball.”

The clever title was created by Michael Sokolove.  You know him from great works like, “Success is the Only Option,” and, “Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out,” a pair of important pieces of literature that were inspired (and technically co-written) by John Calipari.

Set to hit stores on September 28, the 304-page book will “lift the rug” on the scandal at University-6.

“A few bad apples are one thing. In THE LAST TEMPTATION OF RICK PITINO, Michael Sokolove shows an elaborate, systematic machine, involving millions of dollars in illicit payments and connecting at least one of the largest apparel companies in the world with schools across the country. The Louisville-Adidas scandal has revealed a web of conspiracy whose scope has shaken big-time college sports to its core, delivering a devastating blow to the fantasy of amateurism, of “scholar athletes.” A Shakespearean drama of greed and desperation involving some of the biggest characters in the arena of sports, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF RICK PITINO will be the definitive chronicle of this  scandal and its broader echoes.”

You aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, unless it’s a bonafide New York Times best seller.


Pitino did another interview and sounded interested in the Siena job

Chris Churchill of the Times Union newspaper in Albany wrote a column expressing his excitement about Rick Pitino’s reported interest in the head coaching job at Siena College. Churchill’s column included some humor, like the line, “If he came here, we might spot him at some local coffee shop canoodling with a lady who is not his wife.”

Turns out, Rick Pitino read it and he wasn’t amused, so he picked up the phone and called Churchill to defend his reputation.

Now in a new column for the Times Union, Churchill explains what all Pitino had to say during their 30-minute conversation. It was more of Rick’s usual pity-partying, but also a little bit that could be read as legitimate interest in Siena’s opening:

When asked specifically about Siena, he sounded more than open to the prospect.

“The only thing I’m looking for, wherever I’m going to coach, is to impact the lives of people in some positive way,” Pitino said. “I’m not looking to become wealthy. I’m not looking to be famous. I want to impact lives.”

That isn’t a no, you’ll notice. [Times Union]

There’s more in there that makes Pitino’s interest in moving to New York to coach a small Catholic school seem legit.

But what I found interesting is Pitino did another interview, not even two whole weeks after saying he’ll never do another interview.

That guy sure doesn’t last long.

[Churchill: Rick Pitino puts ball in Siena’s court]


Rick Pitino interested in Siena coaching job

To no one’s surprise, Rick Pitino is interested in getting back into the spotlight.

According to Loudonville thoroughbred owner and longtime friend Roddy Valente, the former Louisville coach is interested in the Siena head coaching vacancy.

“He basically said given the opportunity, he would love to sit down and explore coaching at Siena,’’ Valente said this morning.

Valente said Pitino wants to coach again, regardless of the level.

“He loves to coach,’’ Valente added. “He said Siena would be a good fit. He loves the area. He’s turned down two jobs because of where they were located. He loves the Capital Region.”

Jimmy Pastos resigned from his position as Siena’s head coach on Friday following an investigation of verbal and physical abuse of members on the basketball team. There were also reports of improper withholding of per diem money from the team. He had been with the Saints for the last five seasons, leading them to an 8-24 record this past year.

One source told KSR’s TJ Walker that Pitino was also interested in coaching in the National Basketball League for the New Zealand Breakers, though Pitino later denied those claims.

Rick Pitino is going to be roaming a sideline as a coach sooner rather than later. It’s not if, but when.