Louisville punished, but why does it affect UK?


George Salyers sports a shirt in response to the buzz surrounding Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville’s head basketball coach, during the Big Blue Madness campout outside Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, September 28, 2017 in Lexington, Kentucky. Big Blue Madness which will be held on Friday October 13, 2017 at Rupp Arena as the beginning to the 2017-2018 basketball season. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Last week, the FBI reported an ongoing investigation that has left several college basketball coaches on administrative leave, and it has everyone on edge. Included in the schools involved in the first batch was University of Louisville. The program allegedly gave $100,000 to recruit Bryan Bowen, who, surprisingly, went to the University of Louisville.

This violates NCAA regulations for paying players. Now, many speculate the possible death penalty—the NCAA suspending Louisville from playing games— because Louisville is already on probation for the speculation of hiring prostitutes. 

Since the report came out, Athletic Director Tom Jurich and Men’s Basketball  coach Rick Pitino have been outed.

With all the catastrophe happening only a few miles away down the interstate, it will have negative effects on Kentucky.

First, if the death penalty were to occur, it might end businesses in downtown Louisville and will financially hurt the YUM Center. In 2012, the NCAA Tournament hosted the second and third rounds, giving the Cats a great home court advantage. Since we cannot play at Rupp for the tournament, the YUM Center is the closest location that we have gotten in the Cal era. If this goes down like a lot of people think, Kentucky will not have a “go to” location for the tournament.

Then, you have the rivalry. Many say that the rivalry has never been better than now. Including multiple meetings in the tournament like a Final Four matchup, it has made fans crazy in the state for both teams. In 2012, the Kentucky Legislature even considered a bill mandating both football and basketball teams should play every year, according to a Lexington Herald-Leader staff report. 

Now with UK’s most hated coach is gone, the rivalry may never be the same. We will always remember those times like DeMarcus Cousins punching Cardinal Jared Swopshire in the face at Rupp, or the time when Tyler Ulis got a cut beside his eye in the YUM Center. With Louisville not being the same, the money and national exposure won’t be the same.

The future of the rivalry is in jeopardy, but focus is on the now. U of L will be fine without the two iconic members of the city, but it just won’t be the same.

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