Memo to U of L: Give Padgett & Tyra the Jobs Now

The University of Louisville announced last week that it’s forming a committee to search for a new athletics director.

Somewhere Carl Abner has a bemused smile on his face.

Abner was the strong willed Economics professor, who dominated the search party in the early 70s that brought Denny Crum to U of L. There were others involved, but it always seemed like he was the guy large and in charge.

Which I mention as preface to this screed due to a parallel between that situation and the firestorm that’s enveloped the university and its basketball program these days.

There was an interim coach in charge of men’s hoops at that time. Howard Stacey. Standing in the stead of John Dromo due to the latter’s health issues, Stacey had proven himself not worthy for the job permanently.

The rest is, you know, history. Halcyon days for hoops ensued.

Matters are more dire today. 

If the powers that be — we know their names, or at least think we do — want to diddle about with naming a permanent replacement for deposed school prexy Jim Ramsey, so be it. Greg Postel seems to have provided ballast for the U. Accreditation has been restored. Procedures are in place, etc, etc. The ship is no longer listing, at least, as much as it was.

I don’t sense any long term harm in taking time for that replacement.

But, if those muckety mucks calling the shots feel a committee is necessary to replace Tom Jurich, well, that’s not such a reasoned choice.

It’s time to act. Now.

I’m advised that a coach of one of the mens’ athletic teams has stated many current U of L mentors would be inclined to follow Jurich, should he be tabbed to run another school’s department and be inclined to harvest his Cardinal staff. A sense of stability is necessary to ward that off.

The same squared goes for Rick Pitino’s permanent replacement.

While it appears that Padgett and his staff are making a game effort to recruit, it is an impossible situation under present circumstances. NCAA sanctions hover over the program like Damocles sword. To think that any prepster of substance would sign on without at the very least knowing who will be the permanent coach is absurd.

And, the delusions of Cardinal fans notwithstanding, neither Billy Donovan nor Shaka Smart nor Greg McDermott nor Chris Mack is walking in that door. For the time being, the U of L job isn’t more attractive than where those guys currently reside.

So, one guy’s opinion, tear off the interim tags.

It’s time to generate some normality and continuity if nothing else.

Hire Vince Tyra to be AD. If he wants it, which my sense is, he does.

Hire David Padgett to be men’s basketball coach. And give him enough budget to keep Greg Paulus around.

Understand, I’m not sure if either is fully capable of maintaining the excellence of their predecessors. That’s not the primary concern at this juncture, frankly.

But, both have shown enough — to me anyway — that they are well worth the risk.

Besides, they’re both here, in place, and understand the full ramifications of U of L’s untenable situation. It’s hard to believe that any outsiders who would be considered upgrades would commit until the sanctions situation subsides. That might take years.

Thrown into the miasma, David Padgett has displayed all the necessary intangibles peripheral to the job. And, with each outing, he’s giving signs of climbing the steep learning curve he faced when thrown into the fire.

Vince Tyra has proven himself to be an adroit businessman. He’s also a Cardinal legacy. His love for the school is deep and true. At a time like this, that’s a huge factor in his favor.

So, sure, it’s a roll of the dice. But, given all the peril facing the university and the basketball program, I say double down.

Urgent Memo to Grissom, Schnatter, Postel, Whoever else is getting a word in edgewise.

Give Tyra and Padgett the jobs.


— c d kaplan



9 thoughts on “Memo to U of L: Give Padgett & Tyra the Jobs Now

  1. I agree with the caveat that the first contract term not exceed four years which will give us some idea of the ability to recruit quality personnel.

  2. Seedy… I am shocked. What’s the line from Dumb and Dumber? “Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and so something like this—and totally redeem yourself!”

    I am not agreeing or denying that we could get any of the big fish listed in your missive. I am just saying that until the dust settles and we can find out if any (more) NCAA sanctions are coming our way, keeping what we know we have verses what we hope to get seems abundantly prudent to me.

    Give em both modest 3 year deals. After 3 years we should know what we have and where we are going. If if looks like we hit it out of the park, lock them up; if not start a serious search once we know where we are. Do it for the kids if nothing else—though the abandonment of Tugs seems to show (to those of us not in the know) that we are more concerned of our image than of our students/players.

    But,alas, those in charge seem more bent on our destruction than in our salvation. I know you think I am paranoid about this, but why do you have to rebuild the car when only the bumper has some paint and a few dents on it? Let the outsiders mock our sloppy jalopy but the true Cardinal fan will be there to support the Louisville sports teams, even if we have to drive around with no hub caps and sans muffler.

    I fear the hope for the immediate future—2018 and beyond—lies with the existing team members. If we lose any of them ,that future is bleak. If we want to bite the bullet and die on the vine for 2-4 years, then go out and hire a new AD and bball coach If Vince and David can’t do it, the 2020-2021 recruiting class will still be there to bail us out with a big name coach riding herd.

    But in the meantime, sign em up.

  3. JGJ, I pray the arguments you make before the bar are more cogent. Your lead would indicate you vehemently disagree with me, when in fact it turns out we are of like mind. I actually called for three year contracts in my original draft, but deleted it.

    I agree it’s almost like the administration wants athletics to fade away. Which is a reaction to how things were under Ramsey and Jurich, who swung the biggest block and tackles.

  4. Seedy, two comments –

    1. I agree with everything you said.

    2. There was some hoops played in Lexington yesterday afternoon. Cards over Cats in a romp. I’ve followed Cardinal women’s basketball for 10 years (45 years less than I’ve followed the men). I have mid-court season tickets for the women and I don’t miss a game. This team is ultra-talented – the best team Walz has had. Asia Durr belongs right up there with Tyra/Unseld/Griffith/McCoughtry/Schimmel as the best ever to wear a Louisville jersey.

  5. Mike D, you are absolutely correct about Cardinal women’s team. I watched most of game. This is far and away Walz’s best team here. At least as far as this uninformed observer observes. Durr is the deal. I have written about the women’s team a couple of times. I’ve been to several games and have future ones on my calendar. The sad reality: Very few readers, either here or when I post at

  6. Not a cogent argument? Either you didn’t watch D&D or don’t recognize a backhanded compliment when you get one. I guess that happens when you so seldom make a “salient point” as you call them….Maybe the Memphis State fan was right, after all…

    Well, I will make sure that this is the last time I ever agree with you, my friend! Sportsby, let’s tee him up!


  7. I will feel I lot more comfortable about our situation going forward when Postel and Papa J are out of the equation. Until then I am scared to death !

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