Coffee Break: Postel missed the mark in Jurich's suspension notice

Jack Coffee, Owner, Louisville Sports News
Cardinal Sports
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Associate Press

I just don’t get it. After reading the suspension letter sent to Tom Jurich by Dr. Postel, I am even more flummoxed by the desire of the University of Louisville administration to continue without the services of the best Athletic Director in the country.

Does anyone really believe that Tom Jurich is responsible for “fraud and malfeasance” in his 20-year tenure as athletic director at the University of Louisville? And the charge that Tom negotiated the agreement with Adidas “without timely or appropriate consultation with me (Postel) or members of the Board of Directors of the University of Louisville Athletics Association” is misleading.

The agreement was completed prior to Dr. Postel being named president in late January. The final item in the deal was an agreement to give Adidas use of space on Arthur Street rent-free; Dr. Pinto signed off on this on Dec. 21, 2016. The final draft of the agreement was stated in a memorandum sent to Dr. Pinto and his Chief Administrative Officer David Adams on November 2, 2016. David Adams continued in that role under Dr. Postel until June 2017. Dr. Pinto as president of the university was involved in negotiations from beginning to end.

By firing Tom Jurich for the actions of his subordinate the University of Louisville will be setting a precedent that has not been practiced in the past. Was any administrator fired for the misbehavior of those that embezzled money from the university? This has happened more than once, like here and here and here.

Dr. Postel and David Grissom are setting a high standard for termination in the future. If a high-ranking official of the university embezzles money in the future will Dr. Postel resign? He probably won’t nor should he.

It is impossible for top management in any organization to totally control the behavior of those under them. They can only make it clear what is unacceptable and trust them to do the right thing.

That defines the guilt of Tom Jurich. He trusted Rick Pitino - as did many of us. And Tom and we were wrong. That is no reason to fire Jurich. Twenty of UofL’s 21 sports are models for all schools in the NCAA.

Bring Tom back to work and let’s get started fixing the 21st.

Death Penalty? Not likely.

Some have suggested that Louisville might receive the ‘death penalty’ if Tom is reinstated. I don't believe that to be true.

Here is the criteria for the ‘death penalty:

The NCAA has always had the power to ban an institution from competing in a particular sport. However, in 1985, in response to rampant violations at several schools, the NCAA Council passed the "repeat violator" rule. The rule stipulates that if a second major violation occurs at any institution within five years of being on probation in the same sport or another sport, that institution can be barred from competing in the sport involved in the second violation for either one or two seasons. In cases of particularly egregious misconduct, a school can also be stripped of its right to vote at NCAA conventions for four years. The severity of the penalty led the media to dub it "the death penalty," and the nickname has persisted to this day.

However, if the NCAA finds a school has engaged in a "pattern of willful violations," it can look back to when the violations first occurred, even if they are outside the five-year window. It also still has the power to ban a school from competing in a sport without any preliminaries in cases of particularly egregious violations. However, the "repeat violator" rule gave the Infractions Committees of the various NCAA divisions specific instances where they must either bar a school from competing or explain why they did not.

The NCAA can ‘parole’ the basketball team for two years but has not done so since SMU in 1987. Despite egregious violations by Kansas in 1988, Kentucky in 1989 and Alabama in 2002 it has not levied the death penalty since SMU. Why would the reinstatement of Tom Jurich effect the decision of the NCAA?

That's nothing but a ‘red herring’ argument to support the self-destructive removal of Tom Jurich.

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