Feeding Frenzy: Rumors run wild

Louisville hosts Southern Miss on homecoming Saturday evening at PJCS, but the hot topic this week among Cardinal fans hasn't been the Golden Eagles.

Rumors about Steve Kragthorpe's future at Louisville are running rampant all over town, on message boards, talk radio and probably in every office in the city. No matter where you go or who you talk to everybody wants to know the same thing: Are the rumors true?

How wild has it gotten? Wilder than anything I can remember in recent memory.

By now, I'm sure you're aware of the most pertinent of this scuttlebutt: That Kragthorpe's days as the Louisville football coach are numbered.

One of the hottest rumors is that Kragthorpe has already been notified by university officials that he won't be retained as the coach next year. One particular website radio program promoted 'big news' about the situation on their Wednesday night broadcast. The hosts, citing unnamed sources, claimed that Kragthorpe met with Tom Jurich Monday and was informed by the UofL athletic director of his dismissal. They also made claims about a Kragthorpe press conference either Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday where he would offer his resignation.

Steve Kragthorpe's future at UofL has been the subject of rampant speculation around town this week.
That prompted this response Thursday afternoon from Kenny Klein, the University of Louisville's Senior Associate Athletic Director:

Fact: There is no press conference scheduled Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday to address the subject matter referenced in this irresponsible blog. When Monday comes and goes without the announcement specified, the readers and listeners of this site will witness the lack of credibility with this blog.

Fact: Not only did the mentioned meeting absolutely not occur, Mr. Jurich and Coach Kragthorpe did not even speak on Monday -- not in person, nor via phone. Again, a measure of the misinformation reported.

It's unfortunate that this site and audio program has chosen to spread completely erroneous material. After hearing of this bogus matter, I personally spoke with the author to explain that his information is incorrect. He chose to rely on his "sources," who have certainly led him astray on this.."

Where does that leave us? Still mired in the murky waters of speculation, rumor and innuendo, I guess.

With Louisville now 1-3 on the season, pressure on Steve Kragthorpe will continue to mount from fans if the season continues to deteriorate. The Cardinals, under Kragthorpe's guidance, have lost their last eight games against Division 1 opponents and the Louisville fan base is clamoring for change. And they want it now!

Talk about possible replacements for Kragthorpe has dominated the sports conversation in this town since the Cardinals 35-10 loss to Pittsburgh last weekend at PJCS. One of the many rumors circulating around: Jon Guden will be the next coach at UofL. That's accompanied almost simultaneously with the rumor that Tommy Tuberville is sure to ink a deal to be Louisville's head coach next season.

There are rumors that Tom Jurich has met with both coaches about a potential opening at UofL; that Gruden and Tuberville have both been in town recently, presumably house hunting. If that's not enough to satisfy your thirst for change how about the rumor that Gruden has already bought a house – in Oldham County.

The rumor mill is definitely filled with vivid imaginations.

Every day, a new rumor seemingly pops up out of nowhere. In reality, it's become a feeding frenzy fueled by angry fans – and probably a few legitimate sources – seeking a coaching change for the Louisville football program. The rumors have come so fast and furious this week that your head is probably swimming trying to sort through the mess. I know mine is.

And stirring the pot even more was the fact that Tom Jurich missed the UofL basketball tip-off luncheon Thursday, further intensifying speculation that something big is brewing on the football front. Rick Pitino said Jurich was in Birmingham – Tommy Tuberville, anyone? There were other reports that Jurich was in Florida – Jon Gruden, anyone?

We don't know why Jurich was out of town on the day more than 1,000 UL fans flocked to the downtown Mariott to usher in the new basketball season. I can't say for sure, but I can't ever remember Jurich missing one of those events in the past. Could be something or nothing? Who really knows?

What do we really know at this point? For one, that Steve Kragthorpe didn't resign publicly on Thursday. Two, that UofL has officially denied that Jurich and Kragthorpe met on Monday. Three, that no press conference has been scheduled to announce Kragthorpe's resignation. And four, that the Cards will play a game this Saturday against Southern Miss looking to halt a three-game losing streak. Strap yourselves in tight Louisville fans, it's going to be a wild ride.

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