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June 20, 2014

Coffee: Cheap shots at Petrino unnecessary

In the vein of "no good deed goes unpunished" the Courier's Tim Sullivan took what I consider "cheap shots" at Head Football Coach Bobby Petrino after the celebratory press conference Thursday at Kosair Hospital.

The presser was an announcement of a one million dollar contribution the Petrino family was making to the hospital through the Petrino Family Foundation. Petrino made it clear during his speech that the hospital "is a place that touched our hearts". Petrino pledged that all the endorsement money he earned would go into the foundation for distribution to the "hospital and campus causes".

This is nothing new for Petrino as he made commitments to Kosair during his previous tenure at UofL, and, according to the hospital, he stood by those commitments even after he left the city.

Not persuaded that Petrino was genuine in his benevolence, Sullivan asked Petrino if this "changes your image or can." Correctly, Petrino answered that this (gift) was not about changing an image it was about helping the children.

That was apparently not satisfactory for Sullivan as he later wrote in his column that the gift could have been "a calculated step toward Petrino's image repair.......and to see the pledge....as a pentitential tax deduction." He went on to say that "it was still too soon to say how far Petrino can be trusted..."

To pound home the negative, Sullivan says, "Because of past sins and lingering skepticism, Petrino understands that he bears a burden of proof in his second stint as Louisville's head coach."

What 'burden of proof'? Petrino is like any other head coach at a major university. He is free to leave at any time. Some act as if Petrino leaving in 2006 after four seasons was extremely egregious to UofL. They forget that John L Smith left after five years, Lee Corso also left after four and Charlie Strong also left after four. I am puzzled at those that demand "a pound of flesh" from Petrino.

All I ask is that he give us all he's got while he's here. Do I think he'll stay for an extended time? Yes! There is no reason for him to leave. His priorities have changed. Not his intensity, but his priorities.

Sullivan and unfortunately some UofL fans need to move on. What good does it do to keep bringing up the past?

But Sullivan has to serve his C-J masters who will do anything to denigrate the University of Louisville. This is nothing new.

If we thought that David Hawpe moving on to be a trustee at his beloved Kentucky would change things we were wrong. He was replaced by UK grad Wes Jackson.

But is this about his C-J bosses or the dissolute UK mouthpiece Matt Jones, who tweeted "Hahahaha they have no shame" when referring to the Petrino's new charitable foundation? This is typical for Jones who spends much of his time trying to belittle UofL because he can't find enough good things to say about UK. Sad to say this is the state of affairs at the little sister university down the road.

The question is: Does the Courier have to join in this foolishness? Why is positive press so little and far between for the local university? I know the C-J has given up trying to sell papers in Louisville and now has a statewide mission, but why the hostility?

It makes no sense. The Cardinals are one of the few winning universities in sports that have a hostile local press.

Jack Coffee is the owner of Louisville Sports News. He can be contacted by emailing [email protected]

Louisville NEWS


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