Following a press conference announcing that University of Louisville men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were placed on administrative leave, students expressed the same sentiment as UofL board of trustees chairman J. David Grissom — shock.
News broke yesterday that the men’s basketball program was involved in a federal indictment involving multiple schools, which alleged that one or more of the UofL coaches was involved in a scheme this summer to bribe recruits into attending the university.
Several students told Insider that they didn’t have a strong opinion about the news because all the information was still new but called the recent scandal a shame.
“As a student, it definitely doesn’t look good going to a school that had an interim president come in, now the athletic department,” said Nicholas Everett, a sophomore studying middle and secondary education.
Given the involvement of the FBI, Everett said he was expecting the news to come down today that Jurich and Pitino were fired.
That may still be the end result, but Grissom told media Wednesday afternoon that the board of trustees would decide Jurich’s fate at its next meeting. The UofL Athletic Association board has the final say over whether Pitino stays or goes.
UofL student Nicole Smith was reading the latest update on the scandal on a bench on the college green. She said the news was not good for the university. It’s her third year at UofL, she added, and every year there’s been some sort of alleged misbehavior.
While he views the whole situation as “kind of a mess,” Reuben Mathew, a senior in chemical engineering, said he didn’t believe the alleged misconduct in the athletics program impacted him very much.
“The only real losers in my eyes are the diehard fans,” he said.
However, fellow senior Steven Blackburn said he was concerned about how scandals such as this most recent one could impact UofL’s accreditation.
Blackburn, who described himself as not a sports fan, added that UofL may be in the limelight now for recruiting-related misconduct, “but I feel like it happens everywhere else.”
Here’s what others had to say on Twitter today:
I believe in the University of Louisville. We all need to support its students, faculty, and staff who work hard every day.
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) September 27, 2017
— Anfernee Simons (@AnferneeSimons) September 27, 2017
No question that Pitino and Jurich did many great things at U of L, but this program has been built by the fans. Pack your sh** and go. Now.
— Christopher Kolb (@cmkolb) September 27, 2017
Rick Pitino is a friend of 35-yrs. I’m crushed today for U of L, the state & my friend. We’ve had two elite programs in KY forever. Damn.
— Rex Chapman (@rex_rexchapman) September 27, 2017
My love for Louisville Basketball will never go away. I don’t care what anyone thinks about the program.
— Alhaji Mohammed (@AlhajiMohammed) September 27, 2017
I have nothing but the utmost respect for Tom Jurich and the love he has for the student-athletes at the University of Louisville. #GOAT ?
— Kyle Bolin ? (@k_bolin9) September 27, 2017
No president, no athletic director, no basketball coach. Louisville has entered Lord of the Flies territory.
— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) September 27, 2017
Bobby Petrino is currently the most stable aspect of the Louisville athletic department.
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) September 27, 2017
BREAKING: Rick Pitino hired as the new Colonel Sanders for KFC commercials pic.twitter.com/4DdH4Sj9DM
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) September 27, 2017
It’d be nice if I could get through the rest of my college career without UofL being involved in another scandal
— Alex King (@alexdanielking) September 26, 2017
There will never be a day in my life where I don’t love UofL. But today, I have to say, I feel as disappointed and disgusted as I ever have.
— Ty Yates (@TyYates17) September 26, 2017
When Louisville joined the ACC, their fans just knew there’d be a day when UofL was the biggest story in college sports.
That day is today. pic.twitter.com/O7djO9Es3n
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) September 27, 2017
If our next coach is Tom Crean, I’m 100% into the “UK fans are running UofL” conspiracy theory.
— Loverofthegame (@loverofthegame_) September 27, 2017
— Olivia Krauth (@oliviakrauth) September 27, 2017
Supporters calling it a sad day for UofL off target. It should be an angry day. Anger of betrayal from those in charge.
— Darrell Bird (@DarrellBird) September 27, 2017