Being fired is embarrassing.
Being fired while your weekly television show is on the air? Now that’s just brutal.
Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports broke the news this morning that Louisville had fired Bobby Petrino, effective immediately. It wasn’t a surprise, as the Cards are currently 2-8 and haven’t won a game in seven consecutive tries. At least 20 players have already requested transfer paperwork, they’ve lost recruits, the fans have given up, etc. The timing was absolutely necessary.
But man, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and seeing that announcement on the bottom ticker with Bobby’s emotionless face in the background is just beautiful. The show is recorded prior to the official airing, but the point remains: He is “Coach Bobby Petrino” no longer.
UofL radio host Drew Deener also reports each of Petrino’s three family members have also been let go.
His son Nick was the team’s quarterbacks coach, his son-in-law L.D. Scott was the defensive line coach, and his other son-in-law Ryan Beard was the safeties coach.
Multiple sources indicate that the 3 family members (Scott, Petrino and Beard) are out immediately as well.
— Drew Deener (@Drew_Deener) November 11, 2018
In case there was any doubt, college football insider Brett McMurphy also confirmed today that Louisville will focus on Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm in their upcoming coaching search.
Louisville AD Vince Tyra on firing Bobby Petrino: “I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change & it needs to start happening now.” Source told @WatchStadium Purdue’s Jeff Brohm, a UL grad, is “clear cut No. 1 choice” of Cards
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 11, 2018
KSR’s Matt Jones reports that while Louisville will make a hard push for the UofL graduate, it’s not a done-deal Brohm accepts the offer.
“I am told it is far from certain he takes the job,” he said. “But in the end, it’s hard for me to see him turning down his hometown and home school.”
On that note, I’ll just leave this right here…
More trouble could be on the horizon for the University of Louisville.
Dan Dakich tweeted, “Huge news coming out of Louisville in the next 72 hours..remember last time I gave U of L news it was spot on.”
Huge news coming out of Louisville in the next 72 hours..remember last time I gave U of L news it was spot on
— Dan Dakich (@dandakich) November 8, 2018
Dakich is certainly right about one thing in the tweet: He was one of the first to say Louisville’s appeal would get denied and the school would have to lose its 2013 NCAA championship. He cited “sources in the room,” and days later we learned Louisville’s appeal got denied and the 2013 championship was no more.
Will his prediction be accurate again? I wouldn’t bet against him.
And for what it’s worth, a friend of the KSR program told me early this morning, long before Dakich’s tweet, that Louisville has more coming out and it ain’t good.
With two people saying there is more to come, I’ll go ahead and get some popcorn popping for when it happens.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©November 07th, 2018 @ 9:00pm
After starting the season 2-7, things are only going to get worse for Bobby Petrino and the Louisville football program.
According to a report by Louisville radio host Mark Ennis, 20 players have requested paperwork to initiate a transfer from the team.
According to a source within the athletic department, in the Fall 2018 semester alone, 20 Louisville football players have requested the required paperwork to initiate a transfer. Number was described as “abnormally high. The most for one sport since the women’s lacrosse fiasco.”
— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) November 7, 2018
Ennis followed it up with an update from the athletic department, who disputes the high number of potential transfers.
“An athletic department representative contacted me and disputes that Louisville has had this many football players request transfer paperwork,” he said. “I stand by my earlier report, but in the interest of full disclosure Louisville denies it.”
Former Under Armour All-American and son of former Wildcat standout Craig Yeast, Russ Yeast, announced he was transferring from the University of Louisville just two days ago. Freshman quarterback Jordan Travis also announced he would transfer last week.
Louisville also lost commitments from their highest-rated 2019 recruit in Austin Griffin, three-star offensive lineman Jamari Williams, and three-star defensive end Kristian Varner.
There is no way Bobby P makes it out of this season as Louisville’s football coach.
Almost two months after telling every media outlet that would listen that he never wants to coach again, Rick Pitino now says he wants to coach again. Pitino has hired high-profile NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus in hopes of marketing himself as an NBA coaching candidate.
“I just want to be a part of an organization,” Pitino told ESPN. “I want to develop young players. I want to be part of a team. I miss it terribly. I’m using this time to really study the NBA. If something opens up with a young basketball team, I’d have deep interest in it.
“I think the league is going to get younger and player development will become even more important to every organization. That’s my forte. I believe I can help an organization find a pathway to success.”
The fact that Pitino is finally admitting he wants to coach again is the least surprising thing ever; however, I’d be shocked if an NBA team took a chance on him.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 26th, 2018 @ 10:00am
Earlier this week, a jury found former Adidas executive James Gatto, would-be agent Christian Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code guilty on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Now, you can hear the wiretaps the FBI used to take them down and expose the seedy underbelly of college basketball.
ESPN released the audio this morning, which includes conversations between the guilty parties and Brian Bowen Sr. about the payments for his son to go to Louisville, and voicemails from Gatto to Rick Pitino after Bowen committed. Gatto and Code also discuss Arizona’s $150,000 offer for Nassir Little and whether or not Adidas would match it to make sure he went to Miami.
If you’ve been following the case, there’s nothing really new here, but it is interesting to read the transcripts to see how the sausage is made, so to speak. Keep in mind that the NCAA can use these to start their own investigations. To dive in, head on over to the Worldwide Leader.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 25th, 2018 @ 6:50pm
The UofL Ethical Leadership Program already has its hands full because there’s another scandal brewing on Floyd Street.
Kemari Averett, the Louisville tight end arrested for holding a gun to a woman’s head, is now accused of raping a different woman in mid-August. Petrino suspended Averett for the gun incident on October 16, but the alleged rape happened in mid-August and reported to UofL police on October 9. Averett played in UofL’s game vs. Boston College on October 13. (The alleged victim reported the incident to the on-campus sexual assault crisis center on the same day, but the police didn’t open the case until October 8.)
Both Petrino and Vince Tyra claim they didn’t know about the alleged rape before the Boston College game, but how could the UofL Police not have brought it to their attention?
For more on the allegations, which Averett is denying, check out the Courier-Journal.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 25th, 2018 @ 6:30pm
Today, the University of Louisville announced the formation of a $2.1 million ethical leadership program aimed at rebuilding its athletic department’s reputation. Unfortunately, it’s about 17 years too late for that.
The program will be funded by the school and Adidas, which is especially ironic considering that yesterday, former Adidas executive James Gatto, would-be agent Christian Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code, were convicted on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Speaking of the college hoops trial, Rick Pitino’s attorney put out a lengthy response to the verdict today, claiming it proved there was “not a scintilla of proof that Pitino committed any NCAA violation, let alone any crime.”
Finally, the government was clear in its closing argument that no Louisville coaches knew about the scheme to pay Bowen Sr. And in the government’s rebuttal summation, it cited evidence that suggested the defendants took pains to avoid telling Pitino about their conspiracy.
Both sides in this case used Rick Pitino to further their own ends. Perhaps for publicity, perhaps to shift blame. At bottom, there is no proof that Rick Pitino knew about or was involved in the illegal payments. His banishment from the college game is unfair, unwarranted and unjust.
Did his lawyer miss the part where Bowen’s father admitted that former UofL assistant Kenny Johnson paid him $1,300 for rent? Because that definitely happened.
The University of Louisville picked up a new basketball commit today, which is nice. His name is Aidan Igiehon and he’s a four-star prospect, ranked 44th overall in the entire 2019 class. He picked the Cards over three other finalists — Oregon, Kentucky and St. John’s — although, Kentucky didn’t offer him so including the Cats in his final group is very misleading. Whatever, though. Good for him.
So what is Chris Mack getting in his new big man? I don’t know because I haven’t seen him play. I can’t even pronounce his name. But I do know he is JACKED.
It’s a great pickup for Mack and the Louisville program given the black cloud it has been living under recently. They’ll still lose to Kentucky every year but this new guy might win a weight lifting contest.
Things just keep getting worse for the University of Louisville. Today, the UofL football program suspended tight end Kemari Averett after he was charged with wanton endangerment and assault in the fourth degree.
“Kemari Averett has been suspended immediately from all football activities per further investigation,” Bobby Petrino said in a release. “We work hard every day to develop a culture of accountability that everyone in our program must live up to. Any conduct that does not meet these expectations will not be tolerated within the Louisville football program.”
The hypocrisy of that comment coming from Bobby Petrino is certainly rich. Averett has eight catches this season for 65 yards and two touchdowns. He is being held on a $10,000 bond at the Louisville Metro Corrections Department.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 09th, 2018 @ 11:29am
Brian Bowen’s father is back on the stand today for cross-examination and is currently detailing the $1,300 payment he received from former Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson.
According to Pete Brush, Bowen Sr. said he asked Johnson for money to help make rent during the summer of 2017, and although Johnson was initially shocked by the request, he eventually relented, giving Bowen Sr. $1,300 in cash.
Bowen Sr. told the jury that Kenny Johnson was initially "flabbergasted" when Bowen approached him for money in late June of 2017. But, according to Bowen Sr., the ex-assistant later agreed to make a single payment #HoopsTrial
— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) October 9, 2018
Bowen Sr. insists that his son had no knowledge of the dealings with UofL and Adidas:
Brian Bowen Sr. says his son Tugs is caught in a mess that he had nothing to do with. "I still think my son is a victim and I always will. I can't say [I'm] a victim at this point," says Bowen Sr. #HoopsTrial
— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) October 9, 2018
We’ll have more from the trial as the day goes on. Stay tuned…
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 04th, 2018 @ 5:18pm
Brian Bowen’s father took the stand today at the college hoops trial and, as expected, it made for quite the afternoon.
Bowen Sr., who has immunity from prosecution for his side of the story, detailed the offers he received for his son to play college basketball, from $150,000, a car, and a house from Oklahoma State to $100,00 and a “good job” from Creighton:
Brian Bowen Sr. told the jury today that Christian Dawkins conveyed the following offers for Brian Bowen Jr. to commit:
• Arizona: $50,000
• Oklahoma State: $150,000, $8000 for a car, money for a house
• Texas: “help me with housing”
• Creighton: $100,000 and a “good job”
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) October 4, 2018
Earlier this week, attorneys for former Adidas executive James Gatto said Oregon offered an “astronomical amount of money” for Bowen to be a Duck, but Bowen Sr. didn’t recall discussing said offer with Christian Dawkins. He confirmed that he started accepting money from Adidas via Dawkins as early as 2015 and that Adidas’ offer for Bowen to go to Louisville went up to match the amount Billy Preston got to go to Kansas:
'Tugs' had wanted to go to Arizona, Brian Bowen tells the jury. But by 2017, with Christian Dawkins pushing Louisville, the Bowen family began to look at the school knowing that Rick Pitino was coach and that "there might be money involved" from Adidas #HoopsTrial https://t.co/JnQJXAjzIG
— Pete Brush (@PeteBrush) October 4, 2018
Bowen Sr. said Dawkins told him an original offer of $60,000 to $80,000 from Adidas to attend Louisville was increased to $100,000 because that is how much Billy Preston got to go to Kansas
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 4, 2018
Bowen Sr., who broke down in tears ten minutes after taking the stand, said he was also paid thousands of dollars for his son to attend La Lumiere, a prep school in Indiana, and to play for the Nike EYBL team Mean Streets.
Bowen Sr. said he was paid $2,000 a month to have his son attend La Lumiere by then coach Shane Heirman
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 4, 2018
According to Wetzel, Bowen Sr.’s examination is only halfway over, meaning more fireworks could be on the way tomorrow.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 04th, 2018 @ 3:00pm
This morning at the college hoops trial, prosecutors revealed an interesting new allegation against the University of Louisville.
According to Dan Wetzel, while questioning UofL compliance director John Carns, prosecutors claimed that Brian Bowen’s family wasn’t the only recruit’s family to receive money from the Louisville coaching staff:
Prosecutors did bring up that ex U of L asst Kenny Johnson paid Brian Bowen's family $1,300 and ex asst Jordan Fair gave $900 regarding a separate unnamed recruit.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 4, 2018
Carns said he had no knowledge of those payments. Both Johnson and Fair were fired after the scandal broke last fall. Johnson now works as an assistant for LaSalle University and Fair coaches an AAU team. In May, Rick Pitino vouched for Johnson’s innocence to the Courier-Journal (as if that means anything). Johnson and Fair have also been accused of altering Bowen’s unofficial visit documents to cover up the presence of Christian Dawkins, one of the three men on trial for plotting to pay Bowen’s father $100,000 in exchange for his son’s commitment to Louisville.
Speaking of Bowen’s father, he could take the stand as early as this afternoon and has immunity from prosecution in exchange for his side of the story. Bowen’s family has claimed innocence until now, but after financial advisor Munish Sood’s testimony yesterday that he personally handed almost $20,000 in cash to Bowen Sr. on be half of Dawkins and Merl Code, things could get really interesting…
UPDATE: Pitino issued a statement to the Courier-Journal about Johnson paying Bowen because of course he did.
Pitino told the Courier Journal on Thursday he was “dumbfounded and devastated” by the allegation that Johnson made the $1,300 payment.
“He looked me square in the eye and said he did nothing wrong,” Pitino said. “I hope it’s not true.”
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©October 03rd, 2018 @ 6:27pm
When Rick Pitino got Twitter, we knew this would happen.
Today at the college hoops trial, Pitino’s name was mentioned in a recorded conversation between former Adidas consultant Merl Code and agent Christian Dawkins, who are charged with plotting to pay Brian Bowen’s father $100,000 in exchange for his son’s commitment to Louisville. In the conversation, Code says that Pitino knew some of the details of the arrangement, but not all:
Also this recorded exchange between Merl Code and Christian Dawkins. Code: "If you ask Rick Pitino if he knows what he happened (with Bowen) he'd say he doesn't know." Dawkins: "He probably doesn't." Code: "He does know some. He doesn't know everything … plausible deniability."
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) October 3, 2018
Upon seeing the news, Pitino couldn’t help himself and quickly took to Twitter to spread the truth to his Pitweetos:
I have never met or spoken to Merl code in my life. Thought that name was a Nike name until the story broke
— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) October 3, 2018
Please say Pitino responding to claims is going to be a daily thing. The world needs it.
By Drew Franklin on ©October 03rd, 2018 @ 1:00pm
There are two sides to the Brian Bowen play-for-pay story and we’ll soon know which is being truthful.
On one side we have the Bowen family and Rick Pitino and others, all deniers of any knowledge of any payments to the Bowens. Then on the other side we have Munish Sood, a financial planner in New Jersey, who says otherwise.
Sood stood in front of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York on Wednesday, on Day 3 of college basketball’s bribery and corruption trial, and said he personally handed $19,400 in cash to Brian Bowen Sr., the father of the former Louisville commit. Sood said the payment was to ensure Bowen would attend Louisville and he handed it to Bowen’s father in a parking lot in New Jersey on July 13, 2017. Bowen had already committed at that point.
Sood was advised to deliver the payment by Christian Dawkins and Merl Code, he said, and that he was working with them to land high school and college basketball players.
So, somebody is lying about payments to Brian Bowen’s family and I have a hard time believing it’s the guy who testified in court today.
But according to Jeff Goodman, Bowen Sr. will be called to testify in the case and he has immunity from prosecution in exchange for his side of the story. Will he admit to the hand out?