Will U of L stand Strong re: Hurtt?

While it would appear that some sort of remedial action be taken regarding Clint Hurtt’s status on the football staff, even if temporary, U of L’s hands are apparently somewhat tied.

They are prohibited by the NCAA from discussing the situation with the assistant coach until after the folks from Indy have had their chance. It is certainly reasonable that the school be allowed to discuss his status with him before taking any action against Hurtt.

That said, the documented extent of Yahoo Sports’ expos√© of the sordid situation at The U, and Hurtt’s participation in it, would seem to require some sort of immediate sanctions vis-√†-vis the coach. An incredible number of phone calls between Hurtt and Ponzi Scheming felon Nevin Shapiro are on record. The website has displayed a cancel check for a loan from Shapiro to Hurtt. There are corroborating witnesses.

Innocent until proven guilty. Absolutely.

That doesn’t mean that U of L shouldn’t be prudent. At the very least, they should remove Hurtt from football recruiting until this matter is resolved with the NCAA.

* * * * *

Just a couple days after extolling the virtues of Charlie Strong, and expressing the difficulty I might have in criticizing him, I must do so.

I would have liked a stronger response regarding the situation. Part of Strong’s charm for me is his lack of swagger and savoir faire. He remains uneasy in the spotlight, and like most of his brethren, will do anything to avoid facing an inquiring fourth estate. He remains less than totally comfortable as a CEO.

Unfortunately those flaws were manifest in his response to questions about the Hurtt situation. His lack of experience was evident when he said, that not only hadn’t he read the Yahoo report, he didn’t intend to. And, when he said the decision on Hurtt’s future would be Tom Jurich’s.

(It wouldn’t be the first time the Louisville AD was in that position. When, early in TJ’s tenure, NCAA violations were swirling about Scooter McCray, then an assistant hoops coach, Denny Crum, ever the loyalist, refused to remove McCray. Jurich wielded the hatchet. Then, put some totally inept “coach” on Crum’s staff. The guy couldn’t add value to Highland Middle School’s team. He was one and done. But Strong is Jurich’s man, so the situation is more difficult this time.)

Here’s what I would have loved to hear Strong say: “I haven’t read the Yahoo report, but, given that it might affect the situation with Coach Hurtt, I intend to make myself familiar with it. Then discuss it with Coach Hurtt when appropriate. When we have all the facts, I will discuss the matter with Tom Jurich and a decision will be made in the best interests of the university and our football program. Until then, I’ll have no further comment.”

– Seedy K


  1. Wildcat
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Seedy, you are dead nuts. I think you should be AD. Your response is the correct one but i just don’t think that Strong, whatever his strengths may be, is skilled verbally when under pressure and this is real pressure. I hope that when this is all said and done that he is not undone by this… but see page one of today’s USA TODAY. It ain’t gonna blow over.

  2. Seedy K
    Posted August 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Essentially, that was my point. That Strong, for all his positive attributes, doesn’t have the wherewithal — yet — to morph PR in situations, like this, when it is called for.

  3. Birdie King
    Posted August 19, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I stand behind the Big Hurtt until the NCAA finishes its investigation.

  4. cbcard
    Posted August 20, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Probably a no win situation all the way across the board. I think we have to hope for the best possible outcome from a lot of bad ones.

    And that’s the positive power of negative thinking.

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