Considering U of L’s Self Punishment

joaniecardBack in the halcyon days of the late 70s and 80s, some fellow Cardinal fans and I had this little shtick, the kind of silliness adoring fans embrace everywhere.

We talked about Season Ticket Insurance. If the Cards lost, or somebody got hurt or something bad would happen, we’d try to lessen the anguish by invoking that we needed to “make a season ticket insurance claim.”

It helped. We’d laugh. It would ease the grief.

This afternoon, before actually hearing that U of L, after its in house investigation in the wake of the Herricane Katina scandal, had decided to self impose a post-season ban this year, I got a text from one of those guys.

“Perfect year for season ticket insurance,” it read.

As if that would somehow dissipate this monumental disappointment.

Today I also received a writer’s aid I ordered after seein Louisville Magazine editor Jack Welch’s appreciation for its usefulness. J.I. Rodale’s “The Synonym Finder.”

So, in addition to feeling severe disappointment, I’d add that I’m depressed, frustrated, thwarted, and have severe feelings of disillusionment, chagrin, sorrow and pain.

The Cardinal Nation has been force fed a bitter pill.

There’s not a lot more to say.

It sucks.

But it was a good decision that university president James Ramsey made. Arguably the best he’s made in awhile. It’s not like he doesn’t have his own tsouris.

Anyone with any objectivity has had to realize that something untoward, something way against the NCAA rules and regs, happened in Minardi Hall.

The school acted quickly and decisively when it confirmed there was enough credible evidence to believe something happened that should not have.

It was the right thing to do.

It was the prudent thing to do.

Rick Pitino referred to himself as a soldier, intimating that it was his duty to follow orders. He did not appear happy with the decision, but his statement in support of the action, as reluctant as that may be, was heartfelt.

I too feel sorry for the players, especially graduate transfers Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, whose names seem to be on everyone’s lips this afternoon. And for the underclassmen on this edition of the Cardinals, which ranks among the most beloved of the Pitino Era. But they will have more chances in seasons to come.

Not so Lee and Lewis.

It sucks.

Bad things happen to good people. It is one of the vexing realities of the cosmos.

Depending on what the NCAA investigators find in the future, there could certainly be more sanctions. Some schollies taken away perhaps. Pitino might be handed one of those 9 game (or more) Boeheim/ Brown suspensions.

But it’s doubtful future teams will have to sit out another post season, given the school’s bold act of contrition today.

That hippopotamus that has been residing on the divan since Madame Powell’s book broke has disappeared.

— Seedy K

20 thoughts on “Considering U of L’s Self Punishment

  1. Sad day, Seedy. I really feel for Lee and Lewis. But I agree that it was the prudent thing to do.

    On a more positive note, hope you’ll join me at the Yum! on Sunday for Cards vs Irish, where the winner has a huge leg up on the ACC regular season title. Walz’s team is improving game by game. Maybe they can give us the deep March run this year.

  2. Punishing the current players is not justice served. Are we to deny students their classes because a professor, a dean, or a VP commits an infraction? Those who knew or should have known should go. At VW the CEO was fired, not the factory workers. Choosing self-punishment in this instance is being complicit with the arbitrary and irrational behavior of the NCAA’s kangaroo court. It’s unjust and a pity that a rational punishment can not be applied.

  3. and UNC has been more than happy to not self-impose any penalty and the NCAA seems to just need more time

  4. Seedy, I know you love Cardinal basketball as much as I do. But, you’re wrong: this was far from a “good” decision by the university.
    While I agree it makes sense that staying ahead of this growing mess is important, the just and reasonable decision by the coward James Ramsey would have been Pitino’s head on a platter as an offering to the NCAA: Pitino resigns or he’s fired. (And, yes, it’s a cruel world, but the NCAA doesn’t give a damn whether or not Pitino actually knew about the prostitutes in Minardi Hall.) Ralph Willard is named interim coach and you let these kids play on into the 2016 post-season tourneys.
    To throw Damion Lee and Trey Lewis and their teammates under the bus for Pitino’s transgressions is a effing disgrace. This is a dark, sad day for the university.

    1. No, the good man, Seedy, missed on this one. There was nothing “bold” about the university’s decision yesterday. The decision was weak and disingenuous–and yet another public relations blunder by the tone-deaf Ramsey. The announcement of the termination of Pitino’s contract yesterday coupled with a self-imposed post-season ban for next year would have been a bold, smart and effective act of contrition.

  5. After a good night’s sleep, I’ve just read the morning C-J. Pitino is finished at U of L. He will not survive this most recent scandal. The damage to the university is enormous and will only continue to mount. The right decision would have been his dismissal yesterday.

    1. I agree with BlindLuck. I am fed up with the idea and practice of young people/student athletes being punished for the sins of their elders. If Pitino did or can be reasonably expected to have known about the illicit behavior, his contract should be terminated. Otherwise, Andre McGee and all other coaches & employees complicit in procuring the sexual favors should be punished. McGee should be sued by the University for breach of contract based on whatever morals clause exists in his contract and receive a show cause order in order to ever be hired again by an NCAA member institution.

  6. I agree it’s time to move on from the Pitino Era, and intend to write about that in the next few days, after I’ve gathered my thoughts a bit more cogently.

    1. Kudos, Seedy. You did have a scoop a few weeks ago when “sources in Florida” reported Pitino seeking buyout from Jurich. Then his mansion goes on the market, UNLV rumors, now this ban. It is the end of the Pitino Era. He’s gone after 9 more games. What is does to VJ King, etc, I don’t think will make any of us happy. But it is time to move forward.

    2. I am struggling to enjoy team sports at any level anymore. Even the Catholic grade school level has quite a few unpleasantries. Lee and Lewis appear to be examples of men of good character. It would be interesting to know the back story of that character development. My guess is that most of their character development was imparted by school, church and family.

  7. What Redstein said. If they’re going to self-impose a ban, do it next year when people who might attend have the opportunity to opt out. If they lose recruits so be it. It just makes me think they are trying to prevent something much worse — multi-year ban, firing of the coach, “death penalty,” stripping of the National Championship? I just haven’t heard anyone agree with taking the post-season away from our seniors.

    I say additionally disband Minardi Hall and make it a women’s dorm. Let basketball players live with the general population — where something like this would have been talked about and not kept to themselves for 4 years.

  8. I would like to see them sue McGee if only to save face. But I’m wondering if this self imposed ban means they learned that it went beyond McGee (as a rogue employee) to other people who also should have told or stopped it. And where did the money for these sordid activities come from? Follow the money…

    They should be revealing the results of this internal investigation, not just imposing the ban.

  9. You all are crazy! Pitino is not leaving unless he’s asked to leave. So, just stop. As far as punishment, instead of post season bans that punish kids who had nothing to do with the infraction, why not stop all new scholarships for 1 or 2 seasons? Players already on scholarships or have signed with the team would get to keep what they already have but no new scholarships would be given out for the next one or two or more seasons. It would cripple the program in recruiting for a few years but still give the kids on the team something to play for.

  10. At least Fusion and BKing have not let their emotions overtake their common sense.

    The only thing I know is that Tom J. and Pres. Ramsey know more about what happened than any of us do. I hate the decision, but perhaps it had to be made. Maybe we found that a booster or staffer have been proven to have supplied McGee with the money? As promised by Jurich early on, we are going to look into it and if we did something wrong, we are going to own it and fix it.

    Bravo. Compare to UNC and UK….I will take our quickly addressing the issue instead of denying responsibility or creatively cheating any day.

    Now if the NCAA wanted to be fair, they would offer Trey and DLee a 6th year to finish their masters if they wanted. Don’t hold your breath.

    And I doubt that Rick will leave at the end of the year unless he is just fed up with the hypocrisy in the college game.

    But what bugs me is the mole in U of L’s inner circle. How is this Jones guy getting the heads up on all things Cardinal before we do? Stay tuned….

  11. Here’s a name that came up a couple of times in the media room, when discussing this whole matter: Stevie Masiello.

    1. Here’s the thing about the question of whether Pitino knew: First of all, if Pitino was inclined to go this route to attract talent, he’d certainly have more sense than to hold these “parties” in an on campus dorm. Secondly, he wouldn’t instruct McGee to hire a stable of 50 year old skanky hookers. My gosh, the guy has a 12 million dollar mansion in Miami. If he wanted to do this, he certainly has the means and wherewithal to hire young European models and rent a yacht. Even better, he’d align himself with a popular rap artist to hold the party. Like, I don’t know, somebody like… Drake.

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