CRAWFORD | Awaiting a coach, Klein says Louisville basketball players continue workouts
Sports information director Kenny Klein, who spoke briefly with players, had no updates on who their interim coach would be, or when the announcement would be made.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The University of Louisville basketball team met for its regularly scheduled workout Friday morning the Yum! Center campus facility. Sports information director Kenny Klein, who spoke briefly with players, had no updates on who their interim coach would be, or when the announcement would be made.
“The team has had some workouts,” Klein said. “We haven’t had any practices this week, to this point, but they’ve been working hard, I can tell you that. They’ve been very resilient to this point and are a close-knit group to begin with, so you can see that they’re ready to get started practice. This should be an exciting time for them. This is about our student athletes. We’re here for a reason: it’s for our student athletes. And to see them working hard – continuing to work hard for what they hope is a great season…to see that still happen, even without their coach, is remarkable to me.”
Klein himself has been rumored to be a candidate for the position of interim athletic director. Klein said he had not pursued that role, and when asked if he would accept it, said, “Right now, I’m here to help our university, but it doesn’t have to be in a specific role. I’m here to help our university and it can be in a lot of different ways.”
He said the focus now should be on the coaching position, and on the players.
“It’s been a difficult week – there’s no ifs ands or buts about it,” Klein said. “But again, it goes back to our student athletes: what can we do to help them? To help them succeed? To help them to get better on a day-by-day basis. The guys have been here for study halls. They’ve been here for workouts. They’ve come here on their own shooting. They’re doing – they’re continuing. There’s no pause in their actions to this point. We’re just hopeful that they can continue on that path, and whatever interim coach is named can keep us on that path.”
He said he has seen a great deal of resolve in athletic staff members in the days since athletic director Tom Jurich was placed on paid leave and basketball coach Rick Pitino was effectively fired in the wake of a new scandal – a federal investigation into corruption in college basketball, which included payments to U of L recruits from the shoe company adidas.
“There’s very serious issues we’re dealing with, but people are judged by how they react to adversity, and from what I’ve seen around our program, around our team, around our staff, all of our people within the athletic department, I’ve seen a lot of resolve there and a lot of, ‘Hey, we’re all moving forward,’” Klein said. “We’re not letting this stop us. Obviously there are some issues that we have to deal with, but we’re not letting this stop us right now. We’re moving forward.’…We’ll see how things go, but that’s very encouraging to me: to see – particularly the men’s basketball team to be doing what they’re doing right now.”
Klein said he didn’t know a timetable for university announcements of a basketball coach or athletic director.
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