Tim Sullivan over at the Courier-Journal has a very lengthy look into the career of Tom Jurich at Louisville. “Tom Jurich’s Louisville legacy: bold businessman or bully? Depends on who you ask,” it’s called.
In it, Sullivan talks to several folks on each side of the bully/businessman argument. Our dear friend Zach McCrite is included and he leans bullying, telling the newspaper,Â â€œAfter talking to Tom personally in his office, I realized it wasnâ€™t going to work out. He told me, â€˜Anybody like you is never going to have a spot on my airwaves.'”
When asked about McCrite, Jurich said he remembered him but didn’t remember any meetings with him. Jurich then put the blame on KSR’s own Matt Jones for the “bully” narrative.
Jurich said he remembered McCriteÂ but not meeting with him about “Steve Kragthorpe or airwaves or anything like that.” He said, â€œIâ€™ve never asked anyone to bend for me,â€ and blames the lingering accusation of his “control” ofÂ Louisville media on Kentucky Sports Radio’s Matt Jones.
â€œIf you say anything bad about Jurich, phone call,â€ Jones told his listeners after Jurichâ€™s firing, according to a transcript posted by WHAS. â€œYou could say anything about Rick (Pitino). You could say anything about Bobby (Petrino). But you could not say anything about Tom. That was the constant.
â€œWhen you look back and you sorta say, â€˜How did this Louisville thing happen?â€™ In my opinion, it all comes down to the phone call. Everyone was scared.â€
There’s plenty more to digest in Sullivan’s piece, including my favorite part of the story: that one former Jurich staff member hated him so much, she gave up hating him for Lent.
To one former U of L staff member, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, Jurich inspires so much animosity that for Lent she once gave up hating him.
Another tale says Jurich wanted to punch Tony Vanetti, another dear friend of KSR, in the face:
Multiple sources recall Jurich venting â€” and in the presence of media members â€” that he wanted to punch talk show host Tony Vanetti in the face hard enough to hear his bones break. Vanetti declined toÂ comment.
“If I ever said that, I was joking,” Jurich said. “I like Tony Vanetti.â€
Based on the people who spoke to Sullivan for the article, the verdict is pretty split on Jurich’s legacy at Louisville.
Give it a read and share your thoughts below.