Former UofL men’s basketball players meet with administrators
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - UofL men’s basketball players from various era’s met with Cards president Dr. Neeli Bendapudi, vice president of athletics Vince Tyra and head coach Chris Mack, on Monday in the PNC Club at Cardinal Stadium.
“It was really remarkable to see athletes from so many different generations come together and what really touched me the most was their number one thing was use us, we are here as resources, tap into us, we want to help our students.” Dr. Bendapudi said.
The players, including judges, doctors and lawyers, stressed that their vast experience can be a valuable asset to the current Cards.
“It was a great meeting, it really was, we’re really getting somewhere, it’s a start.” Darrell Griffith said. Griffith led the Cards to the 1980 NCAA Championship.
“Nobody is shunning anybody or trying to push anybody out,” Mack said. “We want to make sure that anybody who played for Louisville is proud of the program, feels like they can still be a part of it.”
“I’m optimistic about things,” IU Southeast head coach Wiley Brown said, “but we have had meetings like this before, we want to see how far they’re gonna go.” Brown was also a member of the 1980 National Champs.
“You hear a lot about the past and where their feelings have originated, but it was more in the spirit of looking forward, more than looking back,” Tyra said. “I’ve certainly thought about what I think is important to them, but it’s good to hear it from them. Then make a list of takeaways.”
The former players would love to see All-American Wes Unseld honored with a statue.
Even Griffith says Unseld is the guy.
“Well in my opinion it should be Wes Unseld,” he said. “I wouldn’t have been at University of Louisville if it wasn’t for Wes Unseld, he paved the way.”
Unseld passed away in June of 2020.
“Without a doubt because that is the reason that everybody wanted to be a part of the University of Louisville family,” Jerry Eaves said. Eaves was a starting guard on the 1980 National Champs and UofL assistant under Denny Crum.
Mack did not answer any questions concerning his six-game suspension, announced on Friday. Dr. Bendapudi did answer a few.
How did they arrive at six games?
“I don’t want to go into details but I will tell you that my AD, I have complete confidence in Vince and what he deems appropriate,” Dr. Bendapudi said. “You know in any area for me, the person leading that should have my confidence and Vince has my confidence, so I’m comfortable with all of the thoughtfulness that went into it and I stand behind it.”
Does Coach Mack have her confidence?
“Yes,” she said, pausing briefly, and then saying, “absolutely.”
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