Saturday, June 4, 2016
Erin DeGrate has left the building...The Champ is Gone -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
6'4" SOPHOMORE GOES HOME
The rumors started popping up a couple of days ago that the Louisville women's basketball squad might be losing a player. Speculation began on who it might be. A leading contender emerged and those rumors were backed up by a Tweet from sophomore forward Erin DeGrate:
I would like to take the opportunity to thank the staff of University of Louisville & the incredible fans that supported me throughout my freshman year. With deep consideration I have decided to transfer to another university. I want to personally thank all of my teammates for taking me in as family and for being by my side when I needed them the most and for that I will always love you guys. I plan to find the university that best fits me to further my education and to become the best player that I can possibly be, again thank you to the University of Louisville and the fans! & I would like to give a special thank you to Coach Walz and staff.
And so it goes. As is always the case, there is speculation on why. We have heard nothing official out of the Cards WBB sports information crew or Coach Walz about this yet...and her name is still listed on the current 2016-17 roster...but, from the sources we have...#1 from Waco, TX. has left the building.
Jeff Walz has a philosophy. It is a good one. As far as what a player needs to know...If you don't want to work hard all the time and do things the way the coaching staff wants you to...you have to question if you need to be here.
We can't say with any certainty why she left just yet. Playing time is always one of the usual suspects. With Hines-Allen, Walton, Fuehring, Johnson, Shook and Dunham all looking for minutes inside the paint...maybe the numbers didn't add up to her liking. Conditioning is a possibility. The rumor is that her fitness may have been going in the wrong direction this spring.
Maybe she was homesick. Maybe she grew tired of the daily backups on I-65 during rush hours. Speculation being what it is...the reality of the matter is that she's put out her closing statement.
Her career was a short one at Louisville. There were flashes of brilliance...but, in the end and in crunch time, it was Fuehring getting those minutes when Hines-Allen and Walton needed a breather or were in foul trouble.
28 games and one start. Roughly seven minutes per contest with 3.0 points per game and 3.1 rebounds. 211 minutes on the court. We hope those numbers improve for her wherever she ends up. Sam Houston State and Texas A&M have been floated up as possible destinations.
Good luck, Erin!
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ALI WAS THE GREATEST
Muhammad Ali could float like a butterfly and sting like a bee. Three time heavyweight champion of the world in boxing. He was a man who stood by his own beliefs and principals...giving up everything and instead of answering his draft call for the Armed Forces.
He changed his name from Cassius Clay to coincide with his Muslim beliefs. He changed the world by becoming one of the first original "trash talkers"...and he did it in a time where there no Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat. He did it in outrageous style.
We're not going to take a side on refusal to serve one's country. Sonya served, her dad and my dad served. I am proud of their choice to do so. We are a nation where multiple religious beliefs and freedom of expression are tolerated. We are the home of the free and land of the brave.
I met Ali many years ago in the Louisville (Standiford) airport. Unmistakable in presence and not yet totally ravaged by the curse that is Parkinson's Disease. I approached him just to shake his hand...not seeking any autograph or photo.
As I stuck my hand out, he got that stern look on his face...that classic Ali scowl...and went into his boxing crouch...fists raised.
Then he smiled. Shook my hand. I spoke one phrase.
"Thrilla in Manilla"
He smiled a bit more broadly and whispered...
"Down goes Frazier."
Rest well, champ.
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THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR
THIS MORNING AT 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and streaming live on the Internet at
We'll have the Sandy Pearsall interview in it's entirety, we'll talk UofL WBB and Ali...plus much more. We'll see if Worldwide has left the country recently and maybe even toss a quiz at him!
Also, stay tuned directly after the show for the inaugural broadcast of HANDICAPPING HEROES...where Paulie gets the picks of the day at Churchill Downs from esteemed prognosticators Scott Harris, Archie Karel, Dave Bicker and Spanky.
For now we're using the website www.paulsykes.com