Statements from Jurich & Ramsey regarding Petrino

University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich met with the media on Sunday afternoon at Freedom Hall regarding U of L football head coach Bobby Petrino. U of L president Dr. James Ramsey also relased a statement to the media.

University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich

"Over the last week we've certainly had a lot of activity, a lot has been written or said about the situation concerning (U of L head coach) Bobby (Petrino) and LSU. We've contemplated greatly on it, been in constant contact with our president, and I can tell you that my recommendation to the university and to this community is that I'm going to honor this contract. I did that contract as a good faith issue with him, something I believed in strongly and I believed he wanted it. When he talked with Notre Dame, which I did give him permission to do, he called me at JFK Airport when I was returning from the National Football Foundation Dinner. He said that he wanted to be at the University of Louisville, no matter what the circumstances were. He wanted to know if we could start a new contract. You could follow the timeline, we were expediate about it. We got it completed and felt we had a great deal in place. As of now, I will honor his contract. It will be up to him if he wants to honor it."

"First of all he, I think he is a terrific football coach. I think that on the football field he has done everything I've him to and more. I thought this issue was a little bit disturbing simply because of the timing. I think everybody has an opportunity to get better, including the person right here that always looks in the mirror every morning and asks that question. I think he is the right person for the job, but I think he's going to have to make that decision."

"I think our fans are very supportive. We have seen that in Memphis, those numbers I think astounded anybody that saw that. I don't think I've had a prouder moment at this university to sit up in that press box and look across that field at 30,000 Cardinal fans. To me, the fan base really got us through last week. I think you all know how loyal I am. I'm committed to our fan base and I'm going to do anything in my power for them. If Bobby chooses not to stay here, which that option is open also, I'll be ready to go in 20 minutes. I can assure everybody of that."

"[If] Any coach of mine that wants to be somewhere else, I think they need to be."

"I want to defend him to on another front. We're talking about Auburn last year and LSU this year, arguably two of the top seven or eight programs in America. We're not talking about a bottom feeder in the Big XII. I hope I'm very clear on that too everybody. These are two very attractive jobs. It would be significant raises for him, so I certainly understand it from that standpoint."

"What I want is a coach who is here because he thinks this is the greatest football job in the country. I think it is arguably in the top 10 right now. I'll argue anybody on that. I'll debate anybody, anywhere that this is a top ten job in the country right now, with all the circumstances that we have laid forward."

"I think I would like him to be open and accessible to our fan base, because our fan base is very, very embracive. They're very forgiving. They've done a lot for this program. They've been through a lot of hard times. I would like him to work on that. I think he will work on that."

"None of us can sit here and be naïve. The guy won 11 football games. He took our program to heights that this program has never seen before. He puts and incredible product on the field. He's a fantastic recruiter. He is going to have other people coming after him, that's the nature of our business. We will all be prepared for that. It's not a slash against him. To me, that's a tremendous compliment to this program."

"I don't think Bobby did anything malicious. I don't think he did anything wrong. I just thought the timing was poor on the entire thing."

"More than anything, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank our fan base, because that was one of the proudest moments I've ever had in my life was to see that sea of red [at the Liberty Bowl]. That was the one time I didn't care for the University of Louisville, I didn't care for Tom Jurich, I didn't care for President Ramsey, I just cared about those 110 kids[on the football team], because that was some unbelievable leadership they showed to keep that week together with all the distractions. Those kids deserve a lot of credit."

Statement From University of Louisville President Dr. James Ramsey

"I have repeatedly stated that the athletics program at the University of Louisville is an important part of our family and is critical to our efforts to build the academic greatness of our institution. I have frequently affirmed that U of L has the most outstanding athletic director in the country. Tom Jurich is committed to the values and qualities this university represents."

"Over the past weeks, Tom has fully informed me relative to athletics personnel issues. We have discussed various alternatives and the pluses and minuses of each option. I fully support Tom's position that we move forward with the direction of our football program."

"I am greatly disappointed that any member of our university family would find it necessary to maintain a relationship with an agent to pursue future employment opportunities. U of L has a truly outstanding faculty and staff. The university has and will continue to support and assist any employee who believes that other opportunities are in their best professional interest."

"It is now time to move forward and to continue to build on the excellence which this institution represents all endeavors, academic and athletic. I ask that all of our friends and supporters look forward. We need each of you."

"The support of our fans in Memphis was incredible. Thank you. Go Cards!"

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