Pre-Emptive Strike or Distraction?
By Four Walls
February 5, 2016 7:23pm CST
If you live in certain parts of America and follow sports you know about rivalries. (This is true world-wide, according to English friends of mine who say that you can like Everton or Liverpool in the English Premiere League, but not both.) People in Texas know about that with football, Yankees and Red Sox fans know about it in baseball, and Duke and North Carolina fans know about it in college basketball. There's a similar thing here in Kentucky: you root for the Kentucky Wildcats, or the Louisville Cardinals, but NEVER both. In that regard, I'm strictly a Kentucky fan. However, even though I can't stand U of L and love to see them lose, the decision today by university president James Ramsey to keep the men's basketball team out of postseason play and the NCAA tournament smells fishier than that market in Seattle. Today, in a move that was a complete shock to the school's head coach, Rick Pitino, athletic director, Tom Jurich, and the entire basketball team, Ramsey announced that the university was punishing itself with a ban on postseason play this year. This is in light of an ongoing NCAA investigation over the allegations of recruits being plied with prostitutes while on campus visits, outlined in the book Breaking Cardinal Rules by a woman who claimed to be the "madam" who supplied the hookers. Ramsey, who has one of the worst combovers in the history of mankind, has been under a considerable amount of unfavorable scrutiny over the past three months or so. It began when a photo surfaced of he and his staff dress up as caricatures of "stereotypical" Mexicans (think the old Speedy Gonzales cartoons), complete with ponchos and sombreros. The university's press agent issued an apology some time before Ramsey got around to doing it. Ramsey then set the school off on a diversity wild goose chase instead of subjecting himself to diversity training (the way anyone else would have been treated in a similar instance). Last month Ramsey was again in hot water when two members of the board of trustees withdrew their support of him as president of the university. They cited as their reason suspicions over the fact that the president of the University of Louisville is also currently president of the University of Louisville Foundation. The Foundation has given quite a bit of money to Ramsey over and above his salary at the university, and some trustees are crying "foul." And speaking of "foul," that's what I personally see in this announcement today. Ramsey clearly didn't consult with Pitino, Jurich, or any other member of the basketball or athletics staff. They were in complete shock with the announcement today. To me, this isn't a case of a "pre-emptive strike" to show the NCAA the university takes the charges seriously (apparently they've been alerted to the fact that the NCAA has found significant evidence that the charges in Breaking Cardinal Rules are accurate and will punish the program for violation of NCAA rules). Rather, this is Ramsey acting on his own, using the basketball program's suspension from the NCAA tournament and ACC tournament play as a distraction from his own multiple problems. As I said, I don't like U of L at all. This time, however, I smell a rat. A big rat with a bad combover.
4 people like this
• Pikeville, North Carolina
6 Feb 16
This whole situation speaks to my long term complaint that there is too much money in Division 1 sports and that far too much attention is payed to the athletes at the expense of deserving students who don't happen to have been born with the talent to bounce a ball and toss it in a basket, or any other sport, for that matter.