LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Body of work counts and should be a key part of the discussion when the University of Louisville Board of Trustees meets next week to determine the future of Cardinals athletic director Tom Jurich.
A fair assessment would be Jurich has improved every athletic program at the school – both men's and women's – during his 20 years, with the possible exception of the men's basketball program that was already very strong when he arrived.
That program has certainly been successful during his tenure but has been weakened the past few years with NCAA violations.
Before casting their vote in making his unpaid leave permanent, or allowing him to continue the six years remaining on his contract, trustees should honestly assess his strengths right now in helping the athletic program recover from a major hit.
Shouldn't he be the one to help the men's basketball team recover from the mess that has transpired under his watch? And the one to complete the football stadium expansion he started, and be a part of the potential national championships to come for the women's basketball team, men's baseball and soccer teams, and men's and women's swimming and diving teams, that he helped grow through the quality people he hired to coach those teams?
Cardinal sports teams have more than 100 regular season and conference championships the past two decades with athletes that brought great honor to their school. With a lucrative ACC network contract looming that will inject more revenue for all athletic programs at the school, championships in more sports will come.
Stronger oversight of the athletic department can certainly be accomplished with new parameters and expectations. While some sentiment favors starting a new era, the current one – while stained, can be repaired quickly.