By Kyeland Jackson —
With everything on fire, lit by investigations, scandals and controversies, the future looks bright for U of L.
That seems like sarcasm, but the FBI revelation that coaches paid recruits to attend their schools proves things must improve. And at U of L, there’s a lot to improve.
We have suffered from bad news for years. Between 2015 and now:
- Then-president James Ramsey was revealed as receiving millions in hidden deferred payment packages
- Ramsey was ousted, after wearing stereotypical Mexican garb that ignited campus protests labeling him racist
- U of L’s athletics program was roped into a scandal involving prostitutes paid to entertain players and recruits
- Governor Matt Bevin deposed the board of trustees
- U of L was placed on probation by its accrediting agency
- An investigation alleged misspending by Ramsey and his administrators
- Another investigation claims to have proved those allegations were true
- Major Donors fled in droves, only trickling back into supporting the university
- And now an FBI investigation says basketball staffers paid recruits to join the program
That’s a bad two years. Many would say that’s the beginning of the end, but I see opportunities.
Look at what the university’s accomplished. It hired an interim president committed to accountability backed by a accessible provost. It welcomed a renewed, critical and invested board of trustees. It revamped the University of Louisville Foundation, tightened the university’s budget, focused its mission, erased shady scandals and now turned a critical eye toward rebuilding the sports program.
It hurts witnessing scandal after scandal, seeing the U of L name recede under a negative spotlight and hearing the interim president say “this is a dark day for the university” again.
But a phoenix rises from the ashes.
It’s going to be a tough time for the university, time that will make it stronger. U of L is now skeptical, refocused and armed to do well.
Just as Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich are being held accountable, the next step is for everyone to put these tools to good use and hold the university accountable.
Otherwise, we’ll be seeing ourselves in this same position sooner than later.
File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal