Louisville’s Loss(es) is Kentucky’s Gain

VANETTI: It’s a bad week for Louisville and it just keeps getting better. Chane Behanan, a loss to Central Florida and now the Clint Hurtt situation pops up.  They closed the book on Miami so now Tom Jurich decides to keep Clint.

JONES: Today Tom Jurich produced one of the biggest hypocritical moments in sports history. He essentially got up and said, “we believe in five core values of Louisville football, one of which is honesty.” And a person who the NCAA has said lied, Jurich basically said, “well, so what, I don’t care.”  He’s done a lot of good things for this city and university. But that was the most embarrassing moment of his time as the athletic director.

VANETTI: Well let’s not blow it out of proportion, the biggest in history is a little over the top.  He’s a defensive line coach. To me, it’s the risk versus the reward. I’ve always said there isn’t one person who is more important to a university.  Not Tom Jurich, not Pitino, not Charlie Strong. To me, the risk versus the reward does not add up in this situation. I would have liked to have seen Clint Hurtt and the University of Louisville part ways. That did not happen and all the guys who made that decision know the responsibility is on them.

JONES: I totally agree with everything you said. The university is bigger than any coach or athletic director. But I do think that it’s a really embarrassing day. I think a big part of it is that Tom just doesn’t like to ever be thought of as being wrong. He’s standing behind this guy who he hired during the allegations because he doesn’t want to admit that he was wrong to hire him in the first place.

VANETTI:  Yes but one of the things he has pounded for 15 years as athletic director is how important it is to be compliant and to clean up the university.  That’s why his decision today surprises me. I thought for sure Tom was going to make an announcement today that he was going to be gone.  That’s his number one message, he gets behind Olympic sports, he wants to be Title IX compliant and compliant with the NCAA. Today, that did not happen.

JONES: Only the people in the program know the impact he would have made if he was gone. It’s a bad look for him and it comes at the end of a bad week with the combination of Chane Behanan, a loss to Central Florida and now this.  You guys have basically had about as good of a year as you could have over the course of the last twelve months—from football to basketball to women’s basketball to baseball, it really was the year of the Cardinals. Does this week end the celebration of all things L1C4?

VANETTI: There are so many things that went in one direction for the longest time, yes, this is certainly a tick down for the first time in a full calendar year.  Plus, there was that cult meeting y’all had on Saturday night when you get together to chant and praise Cal…

JONES: Ah, yes, Big Blue Madness.  It was a great weekend to be a Kentucky fan. As good as it’s been for y’all, it’s been a tough twelve months for us. The basketball team losing in the NIT, the football team being terrible. There was a sense that Big Blue Madness represented this great new team coming, then Louisville losing, and then the notion that hey, who knows, maybe we can pull off a football upset after all of the SEC teams pulled upsets. It felt like the tide was turning just a little bit and really, Tony, isn’t life just better when we are good at things?

VANETTI: How do you feel during the moment when Calipari is on a scaffolding, the lights are on him, he has a microphone on and it’s booming through Rupp Arena as he says, “WE ARE COLLEGE BASKETBALL.”  Does that inspire you or scare you a little bit?

JONES: I love it, actually. The more over the top, the better. I want it to be as ridiculous as possible. I want him to be dropped from a helicopter wearing a magisterial robe.

VANETTI: If you added robes and candles, you are a religion.

JONES: Big Blue Madness is supposed to be over the top. This is what I love about Calipari, he said, within thirty seconds, “we don’t play college basketball, we are college basketball,” and then he said, “last year humbled us and it humbled me.” That’s what I love, both of those sentences.

VANETTI: Shark jumped.

JONES: Tony and I disagree on Chane. I think he’ll play in the first game after the Kentucky game because it will look too bad if he plays in Rupp. I think this particular instance was not as bad as people think.  I think they had to do this because he’s had difficulties since he’s been here.

VANETTI: Chane Behanan, since high school has done two things right: he’s shown up for class and he goes to practice on time.  Other than that, he’s a mess. He’s never shown anything outside of class or off the court that he would do anything that involves not getting in trouble. He’s not coming back. I don’t think he’ll ever put on another UofL uniform.

JONES: He’ll play after the Kentucky game and then, once Kentucky beats Louisville, all of the UofL fans can say, [insert Matt’s best UofL fan voice] “Well if we’d of had Chane, we would have won the game.”