LouisvilleKY’s THE WEEK: No Scandal Here, Right?

If the national media is reporting on the University of Louisville sports world, it couldn’t be accurate without using the words “shooting” “sex” “scandal” “cheating” “investigation” and “money”. The positive news about Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy enjoyed a brief moment in the spotlight, very brief, before a shooting involving football players and a revelation about cheating, plus the A.D. waging a war of words over money with city officials, returned to the front page.

Lamar Jackson. Photo by Bill Brymer
Lamar Jackson. Photo by Bill Brymer

I’m trying to figure out how two U of L football players, and a cheerleader, got themselves shot at a party at an off-campus apartment, and apparently there were no witnesses. According to local media, the police have released zero information about this crime. U of L, of course, is silent. Nothing from the players, who thankfully survived, and much of the speculation in media is about whether or not they’ll play in the bowl game New Year’s Eve. The football staff is silent as well.

Of course, A.D. Tom Jurich released a baffling statement to the media about the “Wakey-Leaks” scandal after it was reported that a Wake Forest radio commentator (and a former player and coach) was on more than one occasion found to have provided Wake opponents with game plan info. Jurich’s statement, on which he has not elaborated, said basically that yes, U of L breached ethics by receiving plays before the Cards’ game against Wake, but that it was OK because Wake didn’t use any of the plays and U of L already knew other info.

If you’re having difficulty understanding how so many ethical lapses can occur on one campus in a short time period, read this Eric Crawford column. But that’s just about sports. How about how the school paid Dr. David Dunn more than $1 million to leave, after paying him a year for doing nothing?

No one has answered this question for me — What happens if you just fire a University employee without giving them a huge parting gift? Surely defending a lawsuit by an ex-employee would not cost as much as the buyout. The school, in the past, has said that it has paid off ex-staffers so that they don’t share school secrets, but that’s a ridiculous reason.  Football coaches have buyout clauses in their contracts, but in what real world scenario do individuals lose their jobs for incompetence yet get rewarded for leaving?

I’m stealing this letter posted by Bob Hill on Facebook to highlight the feelings U of L grads must be dealing with lately:

Dear Mom and Dad,

Thank you again for working so hard at several jobs to help me be the first in the family to get a college degree. I just wanted to catch you up on the news here at U of L., although much of it you may have already seen on national TV.

The school is on probation, the former president is either unethical or incompetent, its foudation is a mess, it’s board is in chaos, it’s football coaches are liars, it’s athletic director is in denial, the basketball program is waiting a sex scandal report, two football players were recently shot although nobody’s talking, and the school just paid a failed administrator $1.1 million to go away.

Thanks again for all your work, love and the $25 gift certificate for Christmas. I know how tight money is for you.
See you soon.


Fernando and Yaniel Martinez. Steve Coomes photo
Fernando and Yaniel Martinez. Steve Coomes photo

OK. On to a big week in podcast-land. Over at EatDrinkTalk, we learned some significant news in local restaurants, headlined by the surprise shutdown of the Germantown Craft House, and its upcoming rebirth as Devil’s Due. We also had the story of the sale of Bistro 1860, the opening of a donut shop in Butchertown and the plans being made by Texas Roadhouse for an abandoned building on Shelbyville Road.

On the podcast, Steve’s interview with Cuban refugees Fernando and Yaniel Martinez explores, in the wake of Fidel Castro’s death, how difficult it was to escape Cuba, move to America, and build a successful string of restaurants. Listen here:

in the studio with Connie Willis
in the studio with Connie Willis

The new Rusty Satellite Show looks ahead to the big hoops showdown at the Yum! Center next Wednesday, in which the Kentucky Wildcats will be favored by at least a five-point margin. I talked with UK play-by-play man Tom Leach about the rivalry, his career path and what it’s like to work with John Calipari.

Connie Willis came by the studio to talk about her many online media projects, including hosting the national Coast to Coast radio show that airs on WHAS-840. She’s certainly convincing when she tells you that Bigfoot is real, or that ghosts and paranormal events are everywhere. We also talk about Christmas movies. Listen in right here:

And follow Connie here:





The Bridges: Finally, we learned that the Ohio River Bridges Project will start charging tolls for crossing the new East End Bridge, the Lincoln and the Kennedy Bridges starting on Dec. 30. I got my RiverLink transponder package as well.