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Saturday, February 3, 2018


UofL Boards Cause Headscratching

Following the University of Louisville recently has been a trip. I don't mean the successes and failures of athletics teams, although those have been the subject of roller coasters of emotion as well, but rather the events unfolding daily at the highest levels of the University. People at the top, those tasked with making some of the most important decisions the University faces, cannot get out of their own way. David Watson had a great article this week about the general ineptitude of a certain few, which eventually led to the legal counsel for the University being terminated. As many have mentioned, it has now been 555 days since UofL has had a full time president in charge. I, along with many others, have the signature of an interim president (and a pretty bad one at that) on my degree. This is, frankly, unacceptable, and the ripple effect that this growing "interim" tenure has continues.

Yesterday, three associate athletic directors were fired. No, the UofL Athletic Association didn't wait to hire a new, full-time athletic director who could make this decision. Instead, they released three assistants--Julianne Waldron, Mark Jurich, and Kim Maffett--who have had huge impacts on the success of Louisville Athletics. As one writer put it aptly, yesterday, "the clown show continues."

The reason I bring this up today, though, is that other interesting news came out of the ULAA executive session on Thursday. Per Holden Kurwicki of WHAS on Twitter, the ULAA discussed "revising the volleyball coach's contract, an amended contract for the women's soccer coach, and a revised employment contract for the men's soccer coach". Since one can only assume that an athletic department facing larger and larger deficits does not want to give out more money, this raises important questions about the details of these contracts.

Of course, there won't be any news about these deals until something concrete happens. Since this was just a discussion phase, there is a good chance that nothing will happen. But this wraps back around to the same issue of firing associate athletic directors; there is not a full time athletic director to contribute to these conversations or make these decisions. While I fully support Vince Tyra, and I believe that he has done a fantastic job, he has not been awarded the full time position. If he does, that is great. If he doesn't, it is sorely irresponsible to put so much on an interim athletic director that is going to be immediately replaced. Allow people with skin in the game, i.e. a permanent position on the line, to make the most important decisions.

Many are in disagreement about the successes or failures of Karen Ferguson-Dayes, and we don't know much about her current contract, but she has been a consistent leader of the program for many years. Is it really valuable to start contract negotiations with such a coach right now?

On the other hand, no one can argue the successes that Ken Lolla and Dani Busboom-Kelly have had with their teams. Lolla lacks just finishing the season with a national title. Any program would be thrilled to sneak him away from Louisville if discussions turn sour. Coach DBK came into a volleyball program that has known success, but was wading through some troubling times. She promptly turned the team around and put up more success in her first season than any could have expected in their wildest dreams. Louisville is lucky to have landed a coach of her caliber and they'd be foolish to start spitting in her face now.

My bottom line is this: Stop making decisions without full time decision makers in place. If Tyra is ultimately the full time AD, that's wonderful. He can have all of these contract discussions and make hiring and firing decisions at that point. But we shouldn't even know whether or not he will get the gig until after a president has been found and hired. 555 days is unbelievable, and it's unacceptable. Fans are fed up. Students are fed up. Alumni are fed up. The University needs to get things figured out, or the lack of donations and support is only going to get worse.

Fix it.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Now that I've gotten that little rant out, maybe I'll be able to avoid getting worked up on today's radio show. As is standard, I am tasked with promoting the weekly Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.

We'll be coming to you live at 11 AM from Mellwood Avenue, broadcast by our very good friends at WCHQ FM. You can find the show to hear our conversations about the joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports at 100.9 FM in the local area or on the WCHQ App or anywhere at all.


Until next time, Go Cards!


  1. The Bird Lady2/03/2018 12:17 PM

    If we are going to renegoiste contracts , lets start with football. Staff is bloated with overpaid coaches. What about Tyra's $100,000 a month (1.2 mil a year) I like Tyra but he is unproven and making more than most permanent AD's. If salaries are going to be looked at every staff member of the athletic dept making over $100,000 should be reviewed ... Not a select 3 coaches who have represented UofL well.

    I didn't buy into the Bevin is sabotaging Louisville but the bass ackwards leadership is forcing me to revisit that. I just can't believe the total incompetence is coincidental.

    1. The opinion of many, not necessarily ours, but from people I have talked to is that Waldiron was unacceptable in terms of performance in her position. Personally, my chance encounters with her were very few and she never bothered to ask how Cardinal Couple could assist the University. It is doubtful she even knew what Cardinal Couple was or what our function was.

      We stand ready to help the University we cover daily. The perception, it appears, is we are just a bologna sandwich on the media buffet. Unglamorous, easy to ignore and not very interesting to those who pull down the triple digit bucks.

      What we could do with $100, boggles the mind.



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