There is a hellhound on the Cardinals’ trail.
How ironic it is, that in this, the tenth anniversary of the year Hurricane Katrina tried to kill my favorite city New Orleans, that its almost namesake has dealt a blow to U of L b-ball, the extent of which destruction is yet to be determined.
Like the ravages of Katrina, much of which was self inflicted because of Army Corps of Engineers misfeasance through the decades, the plague upon the House of Cardinal that is Katina Powell and her entertainment posse appears to have been essentially of Louisville basketball’s own making.
My prayer, and that of all U of L fans, is that our basketball program survives and revives like the Crescent City, which is, in many ways, more vibrant than before it was flooded almost to death a decade ago.
But, that, sadly, is a long way off. If ever.
All of this just makes me so very very sad.
This will not be a rehash of the news that has been coming to light on a daily basis since Friday evening a week ago when it broke. I know nothing more than what I’ve read. Which does not now, nor shall ever include Ms. Powell’s book.
The C-J, Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich at wdrb.com and the usual national basketball pundits have the wherewithal, time and inclination to do the leg work, in hopes of answering the many questions that have been raised so far, but remain unanswered.
I haven’t the desire to do any digging myself.
It simply hurts too much.
Nor have I the slightest assumption as to where it may lead, and what the consequences shall be.
Here’s what I believe at this juncture.
A nasty taint has permeated Rick Pitino’s program. It will not dissipate for a long, long, long time, whatever is or is not revealed by the various investigations.
It’s going to get even smellier before the air begins to clear.
Bottom line — forgive the perjorative — Louisville basketball is fucked.
Something naughty was going on. That appears a given, even at this early stage. How illegal it was, how it violated NCAA regulations is still to be determined. No good can come from any of this.
And, if Madame Katina is to be believed, that she and her “entertainers” were paid, as much as $10 large over a four year period, there is but one consideration that will be pivotal to the outcome of this scandal.
That is, as Deep Throat advised Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, “Follow the money.”
If any moolah passed to Madame Katina as she alleges, to perform the duties she alleges, and that money came from anywhere but Andre McGee’s shallow pockets, like, say, a booster who wanted to “help” recruiting, or from the athletic budget through a renegade employee, this is going to be brutal.
It’ll still be plenty bad, if, for reasons that remain inexplicable, McGee did this all on his own.
How can the imbroglio do anything but deal a mighty blow to recruiting?
I, like most, don’t believe Rick Pitino knew of anything that might have been going on. Which is different, of course, from whether he should have known. While he, like most major college coaches of major college sports, is a control freak, there are certain matters he delegates. Watching over his guys when they’re not in the gym, has been one of them it has always appeared.
What I would suggest to the coach is this: It’s time to shut up. He’s made it clear what he says he knows. Concentrate on this season, coach. Talk ’15-’16 hoops.
Other than that, well, other than that, nothing.
I don’t even want to contemplate what might be the eventual outcome. Stripping away the ’13 title would be a paper thing. I’ll still have that in my heart. Whether it’s in the record books or not is of no consequence . . . to me anyway.
As for the pall over the program for the foreseeable future, it sucks. What more is there to say?
There’s no reason to go on here. I realize I haven’t added a thing to contemplation of the whole affair. Then again my intention wasn’t to give insight. I suppose I simply needed to vent. So I have.
It’s that time of year when hope prevails. U of L’s newcomers show promise. It coulda been a surprisingly successful season, magical.
— Seedy K