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October 7, 2013In an unusual turn, University of Louisville Sports Information Director Kenny Klein spoke with assembled media prior to Charlie Strong's weekly press conference Monday.
Klein, typically more comfortable away from cameras, said he felt he needed to speak up to correct what he said were major errors with a Courier-Journal report on the Louisville lacrosse program Sunday.
"I feel like I need to say something to correct some incorrect items in that report," Klein said. "I don't want this to be anything personal against the author of that report (Adam Himmelsbach), but there were some clear problems with the story."
Klein told the Louisville SportsReport and others that while lacrosse coach Kellie Young agrees that mistakes were made in how she handled players at times, she has an issue with a couple of key points in the story.
"(Young) admitted that she did some things wrong, and nobody in this athletic department condones abuse of any kind," Klein said. "But there are several key items in the story that she disputes, like the name-calling. That she vehemently denies."
The C-J cited a player saying there have been 20 players leave the program in the last three seasons. Klein said the actual number - something that would have been easy to verify - was 12. Of that number, one left to pursue a different academic major, five quit playing lacrosse but stayed at UofL, and six transferred.
In the story, Young is quoted as saying she believes that the transfer rate hasn't been abnormal for a program of her size. Klein's numbers support that. During the same three-season period, Louisville baseball lost 10 players to transfer and UofL men's soccer lost 13. Both baseball and men's soccer are national-caliber programs lauded for their expert coaching staffs.
Klein also took issue with Young getting bashed for making a player with an ACL injury do push-ups in an airport. The C-J report put the number of push-ups performed at 250. Klein said that is outrageous.
"It wasn't close to that many, and I have several first-hand witnesses to attest to that," he said.
Klein also noted that push-ups are an upper-body exercise and are performed many times when a player has a leg injury. Klein said Luke Hancock and other UofL basketball players do push-ups to keep their upper body strong when they have leg soreness or injury.
One of the items in the story suggested that Young had two players sign a contract not to speak with each other. Young told Klein that is false. Klein said the University can't reveal these player-discipline contracts due to privacy reasons.
"They are very personal in nature," he said. "There was no contract about two players not speaking. I also want to make clear that these contracts were drawn up because the player or players did something wrong. These are behavioral contracts, they aren't just made up."
According to Klein, UofL feels like the negative issues mentioned in the article have already been addressed with Young.
"She had a language issue and she addressed that," Klein said.
There won't be any further step planned unless new information comes to light.
"There is no planned next step to my knowledge, no," Klein said. "We have a process with an athletics administrator over each sport. If there is a future issue, a player can report it to her assistant coach or coach or, if need be, they can go to the supervisor for their sport, which in this case would be (Associate AD) Amy Seng, who oversees women's lacrosse."