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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Louisville drops NCAA, joins NAIA


(The following article is an April Fools parody. In no way does it represent the outstanding work and progress of the University of Louisville's athletic department and their leader Tom Jurich. Just a bit of lighthearted humor for a very nervous world. Enjoy.)

Tom Jurich addressed a hastily assembled group of local media writers, television stations and a few interested bystanders late Wednesday night at Mulligan's Bar and Grill to make the surprise announcement. Jurich, standing atop a pile of milk carton crates began with these remarks:

"I guess you all are wondering why I've called you here this evening when you could be at home watching SOUTH PARK. Well, it isn't for the 25 cent wings and draft beer specials...although I encourage you to take advantage of those delicious deals.

As of about 30 minutes ago, I have decided to place all University of Louisville athletic programs in the NAIA and withdraw from the NCAA. This decision has the full support of all the coaches employed by me...well, it darn well better have or they'll be out on the streets faster than you can say Calipari...and we plan to move on this puppy muy pronto, folks. They won't have Louisville to kick around anymore. No more questionable officiating, snubs by the commish or whacked out scheduling.

I have listened to our fan base, discussed our present situation with anyone who would listen and I know what the Cardinal fans want.

Wins. Big, sloppy blow out wins against directional and hyphenated schools. What we've had here in the past is a failure to communicate with our fan base. You want wins, you get wins. NAIA. NCAA. Both are four letter words. We may have to change a little stationary but in the long run...the future looks so bright, I gotta wear shades, dudes!

Gang, the NAIA is full of four and five word institutions and it's time we started raking in the pot. Along with the move, we're changing the name of the school as well. We are now The University of Kentucky-Louisville. Get used to it, buy a bunch of new shirts, sweats and jackets and get behind our new image. I need to go pee now but a few coaches here will tell you why they love this strategy."

Jurich tumbled off the milk crates and Rick Pitino hopped onto a table and continued the conference.

"We are moving to a brand new downtown arena for the 2010-11 basketball season. Ticket sales...oh hell, who gives a hoot about ticket sales? I want to win a few more games each year. It's the only thing that makes most of you happy, it sure doesn't suck...and I really think the move will allow me to spend more time pursuing my real love...(no, not Karen Sypher)...horse racing. McCarty, Willard...they can run this program. Why do you think I brought Ralph in here anyway? Comic relief? See you at the track and at Rally's, where you can get a Cardinal Collector cup with the purchase of a Cardinal Combo meal."

Pitino dove into the crowd and body surfed to the jukebox. Charlie Strong climbed atop a chair and continued.

"I am loving me some Jurich right now. Talk about taking the pressure off a new coach in a major conference with a group of underacheivers! Everyday I watch that white albetross being constructed on Floyd Street and wonder how in the heck am I going to get warm bodies in there to watch games? Going to the NAIA. That'll do it. We're a tailgate school anyway, so fans can stroll in anytime they want, see that we're up 77-0, yell a few times and head back to their parties. I've got a list right here (holding up a bar napkin) of 14 schools...mostly from the plains states and Cuba...that are dying to get on the upcoming schedule. Be strong, stay strong, party strong and make sure and save Charlie Strong a cold beverage and brat!"

Strong pointed to the northeast corner of Mulligan's, where Jeff Walz stood, dribbling two basketballs. Walz threw one wide of a patron and shot the other at a trash can...producing an airball. He crouched into a squatting position and started shouting:

"I've had it with losing to Connecticut every year. Having Rutgers wipe the floor with us in that cow barn they play in. I want to take this team on the road to places like Campbellsville, Pikeville, Brescia...and sit back...enjoy the game and not have to scream at my kids like my hair is on fire. Let's face it, once I lost Angel...any chance of ever building a winning women's basketball program here at the Ville went right down the drain. This is a chance to get some lopsided wins, practice my sarcastic and sly sense of humor during post game press gatherings and radio interviews. Now I can catch up on all those DANCING WITH THE STARS episodes I've had to miss while playing a bunch of snobbish, thug laden, aristocratic east coast colleges. I won't miss Providence, Seton Hall or St. John. And, I may just move our home games to the Masonic Home gym over on Frankfort Avenue. Half our fan base lives there, anyway."

Walz gestured to UofL baseball coach Dan McDonnell, hitting ground balls to a gathering of bewildered waitresses, but Dan just smiled and started chattering:

"Get two, get in front of the ball! Look it into your glove. Good throws to the bag!"

A stunned group of observers then watched as Jurich and the coaches formed a chorus line and started singing off-key:

"Start spreading the news...we're leaving today. Gonna be a part of it. NAIA."

The group then bowed, high fived each other and refused to take any questions. UofL SID Kenny Klein, selling 50/50 chances in the crowd, made a brief statement as the coaches piled into cabs, limos and SUV vehicles and departed...except for Strong, who started jogging down Barret Avenue back to campus:

"Let me start by reading one of my favorite poems to you. Up on the rooftop...click, click, click. Down thru the Big East with ol' Saint Rick. OK, enough of that. This commitment to excellence displayed by our athletic director and coaches is a prime example of why we are the best college sports town in America.

In the name of the Godfather, the Big Owl and Jim the holy Host...Go in peace...but make sure you purchase a few tickets for the big raffle I've got going here before you go."

(Happy April Fools day to all! We'll return to sanity Friday)

Wriiten by Sonja and Paul
4/1/10

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