U of L assistant coach Todd Grantham said he laughed about a report in Sports Illustrated.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Here is what I know about Todd Grantham's performance as the defensive coordinator for the University of Louisville football program:
A. Check the addresses of the 14 commitments that U of L has secured in the Class of 2015. Five players are from Georgia, prime recruiting territory for Grantham, who left the University of Georgia to take a five-year deal with Louisville last winter. Several talented transfers have also followed Grantham here from Athens.
Imagine how many more Georgia kids Grantham could pursue if he was not feuding with U of L head coach Bobby Petrino, as Sports Illustrated suggested in a story posted on its web site Monday, based on sources who did not want to be identified.
Does that mean Grantham and Petrino have not clashed?
I can't say that. I'm not at every practice or staff meeting.
Coaches clash. Talk to some of Bob Knight's former assistants. I still laugh at stories Howard Schnellenberger's former assistants share. I heard tales of discord with Joker Phillips' staff at Kentucky, Steve Kragthrope's coaches at Louisville and guys at other locations.
Didn't Charlie Strong have an offensive coordinator (Mike Sanford) depart in the middle of the season?
Boys will be boys.
But the recruiting results do say that Grantham is handling an important chunk of his work very well.
B. Using Sports Illustrated's standard, a source close to the program told me on Tuesday there is “no feud” between Petrino and Grantham and that the head coach does not consider himself “stuck” with Grantham and his five-year contract worth nearly $5 million.
“I've been around Bobby quite a bit since he's been here and I've never heard him complain about Grantham,” the source said. “I've heard him complain about players and a few other things, but not Todd.”
In fact, the source said that he talked to Petrino specifically about this SI story. “Bobby told me the frustrating thing about this is it's 100 percent not true,” the source said. “Bobby and Todd are fine.
“Bobby understands that he'll always have things to deal with because of what happened in the past. He gets that and accepts it. But this story is wrong.”
Here is the issue: Petrino has a reputation. Grantham has a reputation. It is going to take more than several denials to swat this story down. It is going to require an entire season of (mostly) harmony and for Grantham to remain on the sidelines for at least Year Two.
That's just one of the inevitabilities of the Petrino Story, considering where the coach is in his career. Louisville knew that when Tom Jurich hired him from Western Kentucky last January. Nothing will speed that process – other than winning big.
What I find more curious about the Sports Illustrated twist is that the juiciest nugget of all was buried 46 paragraphs into the second story that Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans wrote about Petrino. I don't understand why the Petrino-Grantham feud was not included in the magazine story, considering this is the “newsiest” item that has created the most conversation.
C. A source close to the program also said that Petrino did not read the initial story about him in the current issue of Sports Illustrated – and that he was advised not to read it.
Petrino's friends have continued to tell him one thing: “Beat Miami,” the source said. “Bobby, you win that game (Sept. 1 on ESPN) and that becomes the story,” one source said.
D. If you attended Louisville's public scrimmage Saturday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, you saw DeVante Parker make a string of remarkable catches, Michael Dyer run through sometimes miniature holes and Reggie Bonnafon perform as if he deserved a longer look at quarterback.
You also saw Todd Grantham coach the way Todd Grantham apparently coaches – loud, demanding, relentless and often profane. You could certainly understand the love songs that Grantham and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin sang to each other at the end of a game in 2011. (One episode from YouTube.com)
The final segment of the scrimmage was a hurry-up, final-minute drill, designed to make the offense prove it could move the ball downfield and position itself for a game-winning field goal.
With 49 seconds to play, the clock stopped after the helmet flew off one of Louisville's offensive players. Grantham began to roar at the officials, demanding that 10 seconds be taken off the clock, as required by the rules.
“That's a 10-second *&^%$ runoff,” he howled.
Once. Twice. Maybe a dozen times.
“That's a 10-second ^%$#* runoff,” he howled, louder.
I found it quite humorous, considering the circumstances.
E. Grantham did address the story with Scott Roussel of FootballScoop.com. Grantham said what you would expect him to say with a 12-game grind about to begin: that he laughed about the report and moved on. (Link.)