Apparently, the home team is pulling down cash like it’s an NBA franchise:
- Report: Kevin Ware to be in uniform, could play in Louisville’s opener (collegebasketballtalk.nbcsports.com)
Apparently, the home team is pulling down cash like it’s an NBA franchise:
How many of these guys have you seen in a pickup basketball game?
A better question: How many of these guys have you been in a pickup basketball game?
I’ve been a few. (via BlacktopXchange.com)
Nike always comes up with some funny ads:
It reminds me of the days of Little Penny:
I usually go back 100 years for a Time Machine entry, but this is a piece of sports history from 67 years ago that’s worth seeing (via BlacktopXchange.com):
That first basket (in the video above) came on Nov. 1, 1946 for the New York Knicks, who were playing in the first game of the Basketball Association of America (now the NBA). Schectman opened the scoring with a lay-up, and the Knicks went on to beat the Toronto Huskies, 68-66.
Schectman, a native New Yorker, won a college national championship in 1941 while playing for Long Island University.
Like I said, it’s not classic Time Machine, but it is history.
Is there a better way to cap off a great year for the University of Louisville sports program?
The Cardinals basketball team meets the president. They have a ceremony where politicians from both sides of the aisle are actually civil to one another. Obama gives a pretty good recap of the NCAA tournament, and Rick Pitino gives a speech praising the city and school he’s adopted.
All that’s missing?
The first lady …
And Russ Smith. Where is he anyway? (From NBC Sports):
Russdiculous is going international.
A preseason All-American and the leading scorer for the reigning national champs, Russ Smith has been named a member of the East Coast All-Stars, a 12-man team that left for Estonia to play in a tournament called the Four Nations Cup. …
He also won’t be in attendance as the Cardinals make a trip to the White House on Tuesday, which is actually a national tragedy: We won’t get a chance to see what happens when Russ Smith meets President Obama.
That would be a sight. Well, there’s always next year.
This just in from Washington, D.C.:
The White House confirmed U of L’s visit, a university spokesperson announced Tuesday, and the Cardinals will be honored at the Rose Garden.
“It is truly one of the unique experiences in a young man’s life to go to the White House and meet the President of the United States,” the hall of fame coach Pitino said in a statement. “It’s not only a great honor, but our team will always remember that they got a chance to visit the White House, understand the logistics of how everything works and then meeting the President.”
Let’s see what this year’s Cardinals did the last time they met a president:
This can be very inspirational, or a disaster. I’m 99 percent sure it will be dignified. But with Russ Smith in the room, you never know what’s going to happen. Just remember, here’s what he did to his coach, Rick Pitino, on national TV:
Baby Titus was on a roll, sinking shots like Luke Hancock in the NCAA finals. Then the brainless wonderboy of Fox News decides, “Hey, baby. Catch this.”
Baby’s not there to catch. Baby’s like Kobe Bryan. He’s there to shoot.
Dude, the kid’s 2-years-old. There’s this issue of hand-eye coordination. Notice that when dad has the ball, he puts it in the kid’s hands. But Kilmeade, the first time he touches the ball, figures a pass is in order because, hell, otherwise he’d have to take two steps to hand the kid the ball.
Think I’m overreacting? Check this out:
After returning from commercial break, Kilmeade asked: “Do you really feel that I was at fault there or should have Titus had his hands up?”
Hit Girl, what do you think?
The business side of sports is fascinating (from Deadspin):
After opting out of his contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, which would have paid him $10 million during the 2013-2014 season, AK47 (Andrei Kirilenko) has decided to sign with the Brooklyn Nets—for just $3.1 million over two years.
The 32-year-old forward is by no means the player he was back in 2004 when he earned himself an all-star selection, but he still put together a very good season in 2012—12 points, six rebounds, three assists, and 1.5 steals per game is nothing to shrug at—and now he’s making less money than Corey Brewer. I think we have to assume that Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has Kirilenko’s family locked away in a remote Siberian prison.
So, a Russian basketball player has agreed to pass on $10 million for one year, to go to a team that will pay him $3.1 million for two years. Now the fact the team he’s going to for $3.1 million is owned by a Russian billionaire …
This is the deal for public consumption. The real deal has probably been cooked up in a dacha way outside of Moscow. I’m pretty sure Kirilenko’s going to see a lot more than $10 million. But we’ll never know because it’s all going to be in Russian rubles.
When Jurich took over the program in 1997:
Louisville athletics was a pariah. An organization so
misaligned, so bloated in inefficiency that the very conference it helped form had sued to expunge the university from its ranks. A desperate attempt to prevent the department’s disease of non-compliance from spreading to the other members of the league. There was little hope for Louisville, its faith seemingly sealed as terminal.
In his influential work on organizational management, “Good To Great”, author Jim Collins refers to the circumstances Louisville had fallen into as the “Doom Loop.” The organization lacked internal accountability, failed to achieve credibility within its own community and had lost all authenticity with the college athletics community as a whole. It was not that the department did not want to change, but rather that it lacked the discipline to do so.
The program had one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel.
For Jurich and his leadership team, part of that process involved confronting the hardest decision a manager must ever make – replacing individuals who did not fit within the cultural boundaries they set out for the department. In fact, within the first five years of tenure, there were more than 130 changes within the staff, or almost 50% of the entire department. Such high turnover is almost unheard of from any organization with the multi-million dollar revenues, and is testament to the dire situation Louisville found itself in.
And it’s biggest problem was it was completely out of compliance with Title IX, a crucial program that stresses the importance of women in sports.
“When it came to non-compliance with Title IX, Louisville was in dire straights,” says Jurich. “We had Lamar Daniel, a leading gender equity consultant, come to campus and tell us that we were the ‘worst program he had ever seen’. Here was someone who had spent over two decades conducting investigations for the Office of Civil Rights and who was practically at a loss for words on just how bad our situation was.”
While the problem Louisville faced was evident, the solution was less clear. At the time, the department’s budget was $14.8 million, or just 17% of the $85 million it had risen to today. Just about every area of the department needed improvement and additional resources. The problem was that not only did the Cardinals need to fund-raise, but also that they needed to invest the majority of the money back into women’s sports, none of which would provide any financial return on investment.
Wow. This place is hopeless.
But the Forbes article details the steps taken to rebuild UofL’s stature in athletics.
So what does the school have to show for it?
Some 15 years after Jurich took over as athletic director, the Louisville Cardinals have made history. The university became the first to win a BCS football game, a national championship in men’s basketball, play for the national championship in women’s basketball, and make the College World Series all in one year. Even more significantly, the University received an invitation to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), a move that all but guarantees stability for many years to come in tumultuous college athletics landscape. For any other university, achieving even one of those feats would be cause for tremendous celebration, but for the University of Louisville, anything less would have been a disappointment.
The article is worth reading. (Though it seems to have dropped a section involving UofL basketball. It makes a reference to Pitino, but no reference to Rick’s first name.)