By Sam Combest–
University of Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra spoke to a large crowd in the PNC Horn Auditorium Sept. 12 to introduce the 2018 Center for Free Enterprise fall lecture series.
Tyra kicked off the series with a bang, announcing an upcoming press conference with President Bendapudi, where they will announce the opening of the Ethical Leadership Excellence program. This program has already gone live in the athletic department.
Tyra started the program with a personal donation of $100,000. He went to Adidas and ended up making a deal that will bring a recurring $1 million donation to the program each decade.
“I have a ridiculous love for problem solving,” Tyra said. Acknowledging the scandals within the athletic department which lead to the firing of former athletic director Tom Jurich and scandal-clad former head coach Rick Pitino prior to him taking on his role as the athletic director.
Tyra used a baseball analogy from his days as a pitcher in college to explain his thinking.
“I don’t worry about what’s going on or how he got in that position,” he said, he’s just got to get out of the inning.
Tyra gave business and moral advice he said can be implemented in every situation a person can find themselves in.
“You have to stand up for the right thing to do,” he said.
In a world where privilege can be seen as a negative attribute Tyra went on to remind students that opportunities have to be earned.
When discussing U of L’s athletes, especially those coming from out of state, he said he has made it athletics’ job to help train the athletes to be leaders. The program allows students to learn life skills, mock interviews and even how to tie a tie.
Tyra said his current favorite vocabulary word of administrators at U of L in the midst of rebuilding from previous administration is “transparency.” He said he’s working to increase transparency by making sure everyone within athletics is actively involved with the decision making. He said it’s everyone’s job to participate in three key steps: “discuss, decide and support.”
Tyra said morale is on the rise at U of L as news outlets continue to discuss key transparency issues. He said though the past leaders might have made mistakes, the current administration is committed to being open and honest.
Photo by Sam Combest / The Louisville Cardinal