Even for an optimist, it hasn't been a good year for University of Louisville basketball fans.
In June, the NCAA announced harsh penalties -- including vacation of the 2013 National Championship -- due to violations regarding the Katina Powell scandal.
That decision is currently under appeal. But in September, things got even worse for the Cards when the FBI revealed its investigation of college basketball and sports apparel company adidas, alleging improper payments to recruits. U of L was accused of wrongdoing in that situation as well, resulting not only in the firing of head coach Rick Pitino, but also the unfortunate dismissal of Athletic Director Tom Jurich -- a decision I believe will haunt the university for years to come.
Given all that, pessimism about the basketball program's future would be understandable. But one group is looking forward to the coming season with nothing but optimism -- and that's new head coach David Padgett and his team.
In the wake of circumstances that could easily sink the morale of a lesser team, these guys have been nothing but positive. They're unified, they're focused and they're committed to replacing the school's currently smeared reputation with the kind of season that will turn the public narrative back in a positive direction.
That mission begins this weekend. And regardless of anyone else's past sins, these guys deserve the support of all of us.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.
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