Louisville Interim President Cites New Grievance Against Suspended AD Tom Jurich
Univ. of Louisville interim President Greg Postel has cited a new grievance against AD Tom Jurich -- who is on paid administrative leave -- claiming that he negotiated the recent $160M contract extension with Adidas "without 'appropriate consultation with me'" or the UL Athletic Association BOD, according to Andrew Wolfson of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. But Jurich is "fighting back." His attorney, Alison Stemler, in a letter wrote that Jurich "worked on the Adidas contract extension with several university officials, including two attorneys and Postel’s chief of staff, who in different combinations assisted him in 11 meetings." The letter came as several "powerful boosters and coaches on Jurich’s staff have launched a bid to save his job" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/3). In Louisville, Rachel Aretakis notes after two hours in closed session yesterday to discuss the ongoing college hoops scandal, the UL BOT "took no action after discussing litigation and personnel matters." Postel after the meeting said that an interim AD is "expected to be named" this afternoon. Postel said that he "hopes to have a press conference" today related to the AD position, but he has "more interviews and research to do" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/3). Postel also noted that as of yesterday, his office has "not received the customary notice of an investigation" from the NCAA. Postel: "I'm sure there will be future conversations" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/3).
COMING OR GOING? In Louisville, Tim Sullivan writes Jurich has "earned a more graceful exit" and deserves an "opportunity to take some bows and hear some cheers for all he has accomplished" at UL. What appeared to be an "inevitable and untidy close to two decades of unprecedented prosperity for Cardinal athletics now entails a finish harder to forecast" as high-dollar donors "continue to push for a reprieve." It is "hard to envision Postel changing course in the midst of yet another sports scandal." It also is "difficult to imagine hard-boiled" BOT Chair David Grissom "losing his steely edge to appease Jurich’s acolytes." Still, the longer this "goes without resolution, the louder the Jurich lobby will become." Lately, the "big money has been talking at the top of its lungs" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/3).
ON THE WAY OUT: ESPN.com's Myron Medcalf noted the ULAA BOD yesterday "unanimously voted" to begin the process to terminate men's basketball coach Rick Pitino for cause, which could "take the school off the hook" for the $44M buyout in his contract. Meanwhile, attorneys for Pitino yesterday "officially served a breach of contract notice to the school," which means Pitino and UL are "likely headed toward a contentious legal battle." UL "believes it is only responsible for '10 days additional salary' from the day Pitino was removed, per the coach's contractual stipulations related to termination for cause" (ESPN.com, 10/2). Postel said that the ULAA "asked him to detail 'the logic of the decision' in a letter that will be released in the coming days." Postel said the decision to terminate Pitino followed "vigorous conversations" behind closed doors (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/3).
DUE DILIGENCE: In Atlanta, Ken Sugiura notes in the wake of the FBI’s arrests last week, Georgia Tech AD Todd Stansbury "led an internal review to ensure that coach Josh Pastner and his staff have been working within the NCAA’s recruiting rules." Stansbury also "reviewed the athletic department’s rules compliance processes." Stansbury said that there has been "no contact from the FBI or NCAA since the arrests last week." Stansbury: "We’re feeling pretty comfortable about where we are there, but it’s going to be interesting to see how this thing kind of rolls out over time." Stansbury also affirmed yesterday that the athletic department is "proceeding forward with Adidas" with a new deal set to begin in July (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 10/3).