Get off the struggle bus and back on THE TRAIN – Pt. 2


Oct 18, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals fans cheer during the first quarter of play against the UCF Knights at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It may be the Year of the Cardinal but we’d like to throw out these last couple weeks if possible.  Can things get any worse before it gets better for U of L athletics?  Yes they can but I’d like to think we have weathered the worst of this mid-season tsnami of bad news.  I think it all started with the rumors of abusive treatment by U of L Womens Lacrosse coach Kellie Young, then the suspension of Chane Behanan, the loss on Friday to UCF including the disappointments in overall season expectations, all topped by the NCAA sanctions against Clint Hurtt for alleged violations.  Its one huge poop sandwich that all Card fans have had to take a bite of.

Now lets step back and get some perspective on the significance and overall impact of these issues individually.  In regards to Lacrosse Coach Kellie Young, after conducting their own investigation which included an outpouring of support from former players, Tom Jurich and the University stood behind the coach and the issue has gone away.

The UCF loss was a tough pill to swallow for Cardinal fans because of expectations of an undefeated season, back to back BCS appearances and Heisman hopes for Teddy Bridgewater.  The football team is 6-1 and still have the opportunity to get the automatic conference bid.  Bridgewater is having an AMAZING season and isn’t totally out of the Heisman conversation yet.  There is still a lot of football left to be played.  I believe as long as you got breath in you, you have fight in you.  There is still A LOT of fight left in this team.

In regards to the NCAA  two year show cause penalty for alleged violations by Defensive Line Coach Clint Hurtt while at the University of Miami, the school cooperated (doesn’t mean agreed with) with the NCAA’s findings and imposed the following punishments that  include a two year compensation freeze, a ban from any recruiting activity through spring of 2014, a “zero tolerance” policy on further violations and mandatory rules seminars.  The reason the school is standing behind Hurtt is about loyalty to Head Coach Charlie Strong and staff.  This will pay dividends when Florida. Texas, or even the NFL come calling.  I will add that I think there may be a connection between the Defensive performance in the UCF loss and the subsequent report from the NCAA just days later.

The NCAA sanctions weren’t against the school and doesn’t impact the school or the program but it does tarnish the perception of honor and integrity, values that Cardinals hold dearly.  That same integrity has been the core of many wars of words between Louisville and Kentucky fans with regards to Coach Cal and his history of violations at Memphis that resulted in wins and final fours being vacated. Perception is something we cant control. With regards to U of L and the NCAA, there have been no violations within the athletic department in 17 years.  “Everyone’s so worried about everyone else and their opinions but in the end all you have is yourself, who cares what people think honestly?” Author Unknown

Lastly lets talk about Chane Behanan.  I could tell by the tone of Rick Pitino’s voice during the press conference that this was bad.  He said Chane could come back but it wasn’t likely.  I want to say that the tone and the remarks were intended to impress upon Chane the seriousness of his situation but that Rick Pitino has every hope that Chane makes it back.  It is in Chane’s hands and various sources and reports indicate Chane is working towards rejoining the team.  Lets all hope so!  This is a gifted and talented person who has a very bright future but nothing is guaranteed.  If he doesn’t rejoin the team, we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of Chane Behanan – lets hope not.  Keep the kid in your prayers.  Chane, if you need a personal life coach to help you, give me a shout.  My bet, we will see Chane Behanan in the Louisville Red, Black, and White again.

Again, its time to get off the struggle bus and back on the TRAIN.  Football season isn’t over yet and basketball season hasn’t started yet.  We cant change the past but we sure as hell can impact the future.  South Florida is up next and its a must win game!  Other fall sports at U of L are having strong seasons, including the 14th ranked field hockey team,  the 19th ranked women’s soccer team, and the 20th ranked men’s soccer team.  We have an amazing athletics program that is among the elite in the nation. Be proud to be a Cardinal!