LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Sports stories tend to live longer in the summer around here, when there's less going on to churn up new fodder in the news cycle. So even though Louisville pitcher Luke Smith's outburst after the eighth inning of Louisville's College World Series loss to Vanderbilt happened Friday night, it was a hot topic on sports talk radio this morning.
And of course, people love to weigh in on stuff like this anyway.
Louisville coach Dan McDonnell, in the immediate aftermath of the game, didn't have a whole lot to say about Smith's F-bombs that were captured on ESPN. After he saw them, however, he immediately knew the significance.
Speaking with reporters on Monday, McDonnell said that Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra and Fellowship of Christian Athletes chaplain Chris Morgan had separate discussions with Smith Friday night, and that he spoke with Smith personally after the team returned to Louisville.
"He's a bright kid," McDonnell said. "He knows he made a mistake. He knows he crossed the line. He pitches with an edge, he plays with an edge. He's used to getting picked on. He's got a different look to him, he's skinny, he's got the glasses, and he's used to hearing a lot of chatter. And he uses that to fuel himself. But, as we talked about, there's obviously a point where you cross the line and he knows he crossed the line."
McDonnell said he knew there was chatter back and forth, but it wasn't until, "you watch it on TV and you hate it for the kid because there's a lot of jawing going on on the other side that nobody ever saw. Not that what he did was right, but he became the villain in this and he'll learn from this."
Smith got praise on Twitter from Clemson's team when it posted a video on Twitter of him playing catch with a young Tigers fan earlier this year, and has been active in the team's charitable activities.
"He probably leads our team in community service hours," McDonnell said. "The day before he was at the Children's Hospital in Omaha. He's an FCA leader. He's probably going to be voted a team captain next year. I really believe he's that well-respected in our program. But we've got to learn from our mistakes, and I'm confident he will."
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