It has been one heck of a week for Louisville athletics that has left the football and basketball programs with much to think about.
Over the last week alone, the collective that is Louisville Athletics has had to deal with a ton of questions, concerns, and a rollercoaster of happenings.
The primary components have arisen between the men’s basketball and football programs. It’s been bad news followed by many more questions than onlookers had of both programs before the week began.
It all started on Nov. 24 when The Athletic reported that Scott Satterfield would be interviewing with the University of South Carolina in regards to their vacant head coaching position in the football program. This immediately sent Louisville fans into a tailspin wondering if their coach may be leaving not even two years in to the job.
Satterfield attempted to dispel such rumors with a Twitter statement on the evening that the report surfaced.
Louisville fans were relieved by such a statement that their head coach would remain loyal to the program he promised to turn around in the right direction. After a promising 2019, 2020 has not looked so good as the season winds down and Louisville is on the outside looking in for a bowl bid. They currently hold a 3-7 record.
Little did Louisville fans know, this was just the calm before the storm.
On Dec. 3, the Louisville men’s basketball team was forced to pause all activities due to a positive Covid test within the program thus cancelling their Dec. 4 matchup with UNC Greensboro and leaving many more questions about when the team might play their next game.
As of right now, the Cardinals are slated to play on Wed. Dec 9, against Wisconsin in the vaunted ACC-Big Ten challenge. The status of that game is now very much in question with things on hold for the basketball program.
There is little more known at the moment as it pertains to the team and when they may resume basketball activities. After just four games, the team is already on hold just over a week into college basketball.
The very next day, Dec. 4, the University of Louisville received word that the NCAA responded to the university’s response to the allegations set forth to them back in May.
These allegations originated from the Brian Bowen scandal back in 2017 and are still looming large over the program and the university as a whole.
This response from the NCAA will be paramount and will be released by the university on Monday. The NCAA could announce a reduction in allegations or hold very firm in their findings. It really remains to be seen.
If the NCAA elects to stand pat, the basketball team could be facing a year or more of postseason bans.
Then, it somehow got EVEN worse.
More rumors of Scott Satterfield started to surface Saturday morning during the football team’s bye week. This time, things started to seem very real.
A report suggested that Satterfield had interviewed with South Carolina on Friday, Dec. 4. Those rumors turned out to be true after the second year head coach confirmed that he had a “conversation” with the University of South Carolina.
The coach seemed to have had a chance to be leaving the program just over a week after announcing publicly that he was focused on his team and the future with the program.
Louisville fans and media alike were up in arms about the handling of the situation by Satterfield and it finally all came to an end (?) on Saturday afternoon when he told the Courier Journal that he had “no intentions” of leaving Louisville (subscription required).
Satterfield appears to have lost a large chunk of a fanbase that was already frustrated due to poor play in 2020. Now, the future of the program seems to be in question with Satterfield slated to come back in 2021 and unrest among players and fans alike with Satterfield and the program.
What is coming next?
Well, it seems that there will not be a long time to wait before another huge news story comes out of the University of Louisville athletic department. On Monday, the university is slated to announce what the NCAA’s response to the basketball allegations entailed to the public.
This news could be of great significance of what to expect for this season and beyond for Louisville basketball. If Louisville is still hit hard with allegations, it could send future recruiting and program outlook into a spiral.
Meanwhile, the program remains on hold as of now with Covid issues and no update given on the status of a game set to be played less than 100 hours from now. Covid has left the team in limbo with not much currently coming out of the university on what has been happening since it was originally reported just a couple of days ago.
Nobody seems to know what is happening right now with the basketball team. Certainly, right now, it is a difficult time for a team that was 4-0 and providing a huge bright spot to Louisville athletics after a very tough Fall for the football team.
All seems to be quiet for now with just one game remaining on Dec. 12 against Wake Forest. Once that game ends, the focus will turn to the 2021 recruiting class and signing a significant amount of young players to enter the Louisville program.
The start of football’s early signing period begins on Dec. 16 and ends on Dec. 18. It will be important for Satterfield to keep those relationships strong despite his rumors of leaving being at an all-time high less than two weeks away from the 2021 class is set to sign their national letters of intent.
It will be interesting to note the state of the football program and the relationship between Satterfield and his players as well as fans. He will need to work hard to mend those bonds he has created (and now lost) and it will be a consistent storyline to keep an eye on as we enter 2021.
Both of these programs will be fine in the long run. There is a lot to think about in regards to them both in the short and long-term. Once we find out more about the state of the basketball program, it will be a better determination for how to feel about Louisville athletics and what kind of road fans should expect to see traveled in the future.
Louisville needs a break. It all seems to be coming down on the program all at once. But just one positive break could turn the tide on the feelings of where athletics is heading for the University of Louisville.