The Steve Kragthorpe/SMU rumors reached a boiling point Wednesday afternoon. That's why the Louisville coach addressed the situation at a 3 p.m. press conference at the U of L football complex.
Steve Kragthorpe says he's committed to UofL:
"First of all, thanks for coming and happy Thanksgiving. …I want to give you my time table what I've been doing the last three days. WE played the game at USF on Saturday night. I did stay Saturday night in Tampa and left Sunday to go to Pittsburgh to recruit. I recruited all day in Pittsburgh and got back yesterday afternoon about one o'clock and we had practice yesterday afternoon. At that point in time I became apprised of rumors that were out there in terms of me interviewing for a job which is total fiction…..My dealer car is outside if anybody wants to see it right now. If it's gone it's because it's been repossessed and I need a ride home. So stick around for a while.
"The easy thing for me to do would be to leave. But that's not the way I am. My parents didn't raise me to back down from a fight and I'll never back down from a fight. And I've certainly got a fight on my hands. There's no doubt about it. But I'm willing to step up and fight and willing to take on the challenges. To be honest with you I'm sure there are people that would like to see me leave. That's fine. I understand that. That's the nature of being a coach…..My expectation level is extremely high where I want this program to be. I know it's a challenge right now to get this back to where it needs to be but I'm certain I can do that. And if I didn't I wouldn't make that statement.
"But again, I'm not interested in going someplace else. I know you guys have heard that before but I can guarantee that I'm not leaving U of L. I'm staying here and I'm committed to doing this thing….I believe I'm doing things for the right reasons. The results have been what we have wanted them to be. But I promise that I'm going to work tirelessly to put this football program back where we all want it to be, including myself, our player, our administration and our fans. Everybody is disappointed right now and I know that. I'm disappointed. I know our fans are disappointed. I know our administration and our players are disappointed because people have worked awfully hard and we haven't seen the fruit of our labor. We're going to continue to work hard every day. We're going to continue to build this program and we're going to get this thing back to where we want it to be. And a program we're proud of not just on the football field but what we're doing off the field also……
"Steve Kragthorpe. I'm going to be here. I wanted to make sure I got this cleared up before it got any crazier. I was out of town for four days and when I got back I said Rocco we've got to do something about this. This is nuts. This is crazy. I am committed to being here. I want to be here. Louisville is where I want to be and I'm not leaving. I am excited about the opportunity to continue being the head football coach here and I'm going to do everything I can to get this program back where we all want it to be. And when we do then we're going to continue to keep it at that level."