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January 2, 2018

9pm.

ESPNU.

Fun fact. Pitt hasn’t won a game at the Yum! Center (0-6). Kind of makes me feel even less sympathetic that the place is a giant sucking vacuum of debt for the City of Louisville, even with the Cards giving back some. Not that the City or the University can feel great about the long-term costs. Especially in the short-term damage from finally having to part ways with Rick Pitino.

Speaking of Louisville and more fallout from the scandal. (Which completely beats talking about the actual game.)

ESPN.com had a tremendous article on just how much former AD Tom Jurich enriched himself even as he built up Louisville Athletics. Both in terms of his salary, but for his family.

James Ramsey, who was president of both the university and the foundation, resigned last year amid allegations that he mismanaged endowment funds. Ramsey and Jurich had a close working relationship: Ramsey, in secret, approved additional compensation that earned Jurich an average of $2.77 million annually over the past seven years and approved several real estate transactions that benefited the athletic department. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that Jurich’s perks included tax “gross-ups” — meaning the university paid some of his taxes — membership in three country clubs and premium seats at the Kentucky Derby.

“I don’t think Tom Jurich gets this, and I don’t think Jim Ramsey got it,” says state Rep. Jim Wayne, whose district includes parts of Louisville. “The University of Louisville is a state facility … and it is not their kingdom. They are not the kings, and the princes, and the nobility in the kingdom. They’re temporary stewards of these programs. And instead of seeing this as something that they should be responsible for and hold high ethical standards as they execute their jobs, they’re doing just the opposite.”

Out of 125 FBS schools required to report financial data to the U.S. Department of Education, Louisville is the only one that derives more than half of its men’s sports revenue from basketball, says Jonathan Jensen, a sports marketing professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Much of that revenue comes from a $238 million taxpayer-funded arena, the KFC Yum Center, which opened downtown in 2010 and has become a heavy burden on taxpayers. The lease was negotiated by Jurich and the arena authority. Under the terms, taxpayer contributions make up 75 percent of the arena’s operating income while Louisville gets to keep most of the revenue — an arrangement that “blew our mind,” says state auditor Mike Harmon, whose office examined the arena’s finances. “It was like, ‘This is ridiculous.’ It’s like co-signing the loan for a friend’s home and then having to pay three-fourths of the mortgage.”

Denis Frankenberger, a local businessman who has dissected the lease in minute detail, calls it “the biggest taxpayer scandal in the history of Louisville.”

Jurich pulled in far more than the $1.4 million base salary that ranked him among the highest-paid ADs in the nation. Including other compensation, he earned $5.3 million in 2016, which, as The Courier-Journal points out, was more than the budgets of the biology, English, history and math departments. Jurich and his wife have vacation homes in Clearwater Beach and in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Their son Mark, a former pro baseball player, was paid an average of $133,545 to work as senior associate athletic director for development. To circumvent Louisville’s nepotism policy, most of that salary was paid by the Louisville Foundation. Earlier this year, before the Adidas deal was announced, Jurich’s daughter Haley, who has experience in sports marketing, was hired by the company to serve as a liaison between Adidas and Louisville. (She was initially placed on administrative leave after the FBI scandal and is planning to move to company headquarters in Portland, Oregon.)

All good times must end, but as Rick Pitino will tell you, not without a big fat lawsuit to get every dime possible.





15 comments

I’ll pesce puzza — “The fish stinks from the head.”

Unfortunately we are going to be destroyed tonight by the Cardinals.

Comment by Isnore 01.02.18 @ 8:52 pm

We may be louville” little brother” but the program never enbarrassed the school.

Comment by alcofan 01.02.18 @ 8:55 pm

Why does it take a 12-0 run by louisville for KS to call a TO?

Pitt was winning 12-11

Makes no sense – the quicker the clock runs down the quicker KS gets his check…?

Comment by Erie Express 01.02.18 @ 9:30 pm

How can any university…my university…let this happen to Pitt Basketball?

Comment by Dan 72 01.02.18 @ 9:52 pm

In most games involving children they have a Mercy Rule….

Comment by Jackagain 01.02.18 @ 9:56 pm

Hire a Turd and this is your future.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.02.18 @ 10:13 pm

One thing I’ve noticed – the Pitt kids have numerous times tonight had an uncontested shot or path to the basket, and are looking up upon receiving the ball which gives the defense time to close. They’re rattled and the inexperience/lack of size is showing.

Wilson/Frame needs to sit for a while and lose his ball-hogginess.

Other than that, it’s what I expected tonight. These kids will have a really good season in 2 years.

Comment by KeyboardKev 01.02.18 @ 10:34 pm

Keyboard …you could not be more incorrect. You cannot teach or coach talent. This is all that will ever be…just a little older.
I have been coaching and scouting basketball for 16 years.

They are nice hard working kids and Stallings is a decent coach and teacher…but this is it! It will be the same next year and the follow wing year.

Comment by Dan 72 01.02.18 @ 10:40 pm

Dan, I think that experience will be a good teacher – they will learn how to box out better, how to throw passes that aren’t as lazy, how to set screens, etc. And if some better size can be found on the interior, I think improvement is very likely. It’s how Pitt thrived for those great 10 years.

Comment by KeyboardKev 01.02.18 @ 10:55 pm

Kev…and fairies and angels and unicorns will arrive at the Cathedral tomorrow to help.

Comment by Dan 72 01.02.18 @ 11:03 pm

These kids could play for Stallings for 12 years straight and still stink and he would still be a shitty coach and we would still be overpaying him by 1.9M.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.02.18 @ 11:15 pm

Sorry to throw this onto a basketball thread –

Per Football Scoop – Rich Rod fired at Arizona. He admits he made a big mistake (not defined yet) but will fight hard against the allegations being made.

Maybe Rich and Fraud will end up on Saban’s staff as consultants.

Was that really basketball we saw last night?

Comment by Erie Express 01.03.18 @ 5:32 am

Per Fox News – Rich Rod allegedly ran a hostile work environment.

Per Rich Rod – he cheated on his wife.

link to foxnews.com

It has been downhill since 13-9

Comment by Erie Express 01.03.18 @ 5:39 am

Regarding whether these kids will be better in 2 years…well of course they will be, it is a matter of degree that matters.

We have been spoiled in the JD era of seeing kids grow A LOT from one year to the next. Not all, but like 2-3 kids every year, and that is really all you needed in JD’s world where few ever left early…over the course years of that kind of growth, you ended up with a solid team year in and out.

Whether that will be the case with KS, well, we will see. For whatever gut feeling, I am not optimistic.

And look, where does that get us? Going from somewhere between 0 and 2 wins in the ACC this year to 6-7 wins 2 years from now?

That is not good enough.

Comment by DD 01.03.18 @ 8:10 am

If Stallings is not released at the end of the season and a young up and coming coach is hired, Pitt basketball is finished.

Comment by Jackagain 01.03.18 @ 3:40 pm

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