Louisville AD Tom Jurich yesterday was "fired with cause" after a 10-3 vote by the school's BOT, according to a front-page piece by Jeff Greer of the Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL. None of the trustees "spoke when offered the chance in the meeting, and none answered questions from reporters." Papa John's Pizza Founder & CEO John Schnatter, a trustee who has "had tension with Jurich in the past, said as he left the meeting that he would not comment on his vote to fire Jurich." Louisville interim President Greg Postel "sought to assure Louisville's fan base that Jurich's firing doesn't represent a change of status for the athletics department." A statement from interim AD Vince Tyra "seconded" the sentiment. Postel: "Athletics will not take a backseat. We're bullish on athletics" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/19). Jurich's lawyers said that they "were 'disheartened' by his firing and vowed to defend his rights and reputation moving forward" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/19). Also in Louisville, Danielle Lerner notes Jurich "evoked an outpouring of sympathy -- but not shock -- from others in the school's athletic department" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/19).
MUM'S THE WORD: In Louisville, Tim Sullivan writes if Jurich was a "sympathetic figure" among many UL fans as of yesterday morning, he "must be approaching martyrdom by now." After two transformative decades as the architect of an athletic department that has "reshaped the landscape and the national profile of his school ... Jurich has lost his job without a clear and coherent explanation." If Jurich was "held responsible for the various scandals rooted in the basketball program and refused to save himself" by firing basketball coach Rick Pitino, "no one has said so for the record." If Jurich’s ouster was the "result of a communications breakdown during his negotiations with Adidas, as described in the formal letter laying out his administrative leave, that hardly feels like a for-cause firing offense." If Jurich is "gone because of an accumulation of issues or a prickly personality" or simply because Louisville "wanted to put a new face forward following years of turbulence and embarrassment, someone in power ought to be able to say so." Instead, fans are being "treated like children in need of the paternalistic guidance of grown-ups who presume to know better and whose reasoning begins and ends with, 'Because I said so.'" For a school that has "often treated transparency as if it were a communicable disease, this was a bad look" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/19).
EXIT INTERVIEW: Speaking with ESPN's Jay Bilas, Pitino said that the "university he knows is not represented by the trustees that he believed moved prematurely against him." Pitino: "To me, this board of trustees, locking me out of my office, telling me I'm dismissed before facts came out. Let it develop. They're not the University of Louisville. They're a board hired by the governor to deal with the president situation a while ago. They're not the University of Louisville that I know. ... The University of Louisville didn't treat me that way. This board of trustees did -- and a couple of them. I shouldn't put them all in one lump sum." The COURIER-JOURNAL's Greer notes Pitino again "denied any knowledge of wrongdoing by his assistants" in the college hoops bribery scandal. When asked if he wanted to return to coaching, Pitino said, "I don't know. I'm not sure I want to" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 10/19).
Secondary ticket brokers have "chosen not to resell tickets" for Sunday's men's basketball exhibition between Kansas and Missouri at Sprint Center in K.C. because the event is for charity and the "money raised is going to hurricane relief," according to Jesse Newell of the K.C. STAR. K.C.-based Tickets For Less VP/Sales & Marketing Jay Harig said, "We all determined that it would be best for the public to perceive this for what it’s supposed to be. It just probably wasn’t the right look for Tickets For Less to be selling tickets to an event where all the money is going back to a good cause." Newell notes StubHub is "not listing tickets for the game." SeatGeek had a listing up yesterday afternoon, but it "was taken down." SeatGeek content analyst Chris Leyden said, "We are certainly not in the business of trying to profit off a charity event. I hope there’s no one in the secondary marketplace who’s trying to profit on charity events, period.” KU Associate AD/Public Affairs Jim Marchiony "confirmed that KU Athletics officials had reached out to area secondary ticket providers to request they not resell tickets." Marchiony also said that KU "hadn’t told its ticket buyers to avoid reselling for profit." But he did say that there "potentially would be some online monitoring of sites like Craigslist for KU season-ticket holders 'because of what the focus is supposed to be'" (K.C. STAR, 10/19).
JOINING A GOOD CAUSE: In New Orleans, Christopher Dabe notes LSU and Tulane "will play a men's basketball exhibition Oct. 31 at Devlin Fieldhouse in New Orleans for hurricane relief." Tickets will "cost $5 each, and all seating will be general admission." All ticket sales, as well as a portion of revenue from concessions, "will be donated to the American Red Cross." Fans in attendance will also "have opportunities to donate, including a silent auction" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 10/19). In Nashville, Sparks & Giannotto report Memphis and Vanderbilt are in "preliminary plans to play an exhibition basketball game at Memorial Gym to raise funds for hurricane relief." UM Deputy AD Mark Alnutt said the discussions are "not even close to the contract phases and final approvals on both sides." The game "could be played as early as late next week" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 10/19).
Univ. of Arizona AD Dave Heeke said that the school is "hoping to sell beer and wine" at McKale Center for the upcoming basketball season, according to Bruce Pascoe of the ARIZONA DAILY STAR. Heeke said that UA is "applying for a license with the city of Tucson for McKale" during the '17-18 season. Heeke added that UA also is "considering offering alcohol at Arizona Stadium for football games," though there are "no current plans to do so." Pascoe notes UA also "sells alcohol at city-owned and off-campus Hi Corbett Field for baseball games under a license held by the city of Tucson." Heeke said that UA "already holds six liquor licenses, including one for limited service in private areas of Arizona Stadium." He added that the beer and wine would be "sold by a third-party company that will be regulated by the state of Arizona." Heeke said that UA would be posting "public notices of its application at McKale Center and, if approved, said the school would serve beer and wine at an undetermined date this season." Heeke: "We want better food service, better opportunities for food and drink across the entire board. We want to have new environments for people to retreat to and enjoy the game, more than just sitting on that hard, abrasive bench at the 50-yard line and just watching the game. There's more to the experience now, and we want to try to grow that" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 10/19).