BOZICH | Jurich corrects his fumble at Louisville by suspending Galloway
Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich called an audible Friday, suspending offensive coordinator Lonnie Galloway for the Citrus Bowl for his involvement with leaked scouting material.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Tom Jurich looked downfield. He went through his progressions of Right and Wrong.
Jurich is the quarterback of the University of Louisville athletic department. Chances are that he recognized the University of Louisville football program had been thrown for a substantial loss in the court of public opinion by his hasty, dismissive statement about the confidential information a Wake Forest radio analyst had shared with Louisville’s offensive coordinator.
On Friday afternoon, Jurich did what he needed to do: He audibled — and suspended Lonnie Galloway, the Cards’ offensive coordinator, for the Citrus Bowl.
Jurich said that the information should not have been shared by Wake or received by U of L.
Jurich said the U of L coaches should have at least said, “No, thanks,” to the leaked scouting information and at best informed Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson about Tommy Elrod, the rogue rat, in his radio crew.
You know: Do the right thing, not always the thing that could help you win a game.
Jurich was no longer disappointed that this mess was taking undue attention away from Louisville’s bowl preparation.
Regrets? You bet Jurich has a few — about the way his football staff handled the situation as well as his initial reaction.
Good for Jurich.
He’s a smart and savvy guy. He’s made plenty of right calls while directing the University of Louisville football program since 1997. Building facilities. Upgrading programs. Hiring coaches. Quarterbacking Louisville’s rise to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Jurich’s first reaction was a fumble. Everybody fumbles. Jurich picked up his fumble and has started to fix it.
He needed 48 hours to make the 180-degree turn necessary to get to a better destination, but at least he recognized it was time to regroup.
Can Jurich do more? Sure.
Jurich should make U of L football coach Bobby Petrino available for a press conference to answer questions about how this entire fiasco unfolded. There’s also the matter of a shooting incident from early Sunday that reportedly left two U of L players wounded that needs to be addressed. This isn't Jurich's program. It is Petrino's.
That would be the surest way to push these matters into the rearview mirror and enable Louisville to get back to talking about football, the Heisman Trophy and its Citrus Bowl game with Louisiana State.
Lamar Jackson was available to talk on Wednesday. U of L basketball coach Rick Pitino answered questions about "WakeyLeaks" on Friday. Jurich has issued a pair of statements.
Only puzzling silence — and it’s his football program and his offensive coordinator. It is also Petrino’s track record for dancing on the wrong side of telling the truth that has inspired some to question how the matter was handled by the Louisville football staff.
Jurich said that Petrino’s position has been firm: The head coach has said he knew nothing about the information.
Jurich believes him. Others never will because Petrino’s past makes it risky to give him the benefit of the doubt.
It didn’t have to be this difficult. None of this would have happened if Galloway had done the right thing whenever Elrod called or e-mailed him with this information.
Yes, coaches look for every edge. But this edge was across the ethical line, even for competition as cutthroat as high-level FBS football. Louisville, remember, was still scrambling for a spot in the College Football Playoff when the Cardinals played the Demon Deacons Nov. 12.
All Galloway had to say was, “Nah, I’m not doing that. We’ve got enough information. I trust our players and coaches.”
One wrong move led to another. And another.
The cold, dismissive tone of Jurich’s statement on Wednesday looked even colder and more dismissive when it was compared to the statement that Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock issued Thursday. Babcock said the Hokies were disappointed and embarrassed by any role Tech had in this fiasco.
Disappointed and embarrassed. Those words capture this situation.
Maybe that inspired Jurich to take a second look. Or maybe he simply needed another day to understand that talking about character and sportsmanship is one thing but showing those two qualities is what matters.
Either way, Tom Jurich picked up his fumble and fixed it. Good for him.
Copyright 2016 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.