LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Former University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich responded to his termination by the UofL Board of Trustees on Oct. 24.
The letter was written by Jurich's legal counsel. Jurich response states Postel's letter to Jurich, dated Oct. 20, about his termination "is an attempt to smear the reputation of Tom Jurich."
Postel's letter says Jurich was responsible for promoting "zero tolerance" for infractions and that over the years Jurich failed to do so. Postel goes on to say Jurich failed to supervise head coaches and demonstrated ineffective management, divisive leadership, unprofessional conduct, and lack of collegiality.
Here is the Jurich's full response:
"A Response to the Letter of Termination for Tom Jurich
October 24, 2017
The allegations released today in the letter of termination by President Postel and Board Chair David Grissom is an attempt to smear the reputation of Tom Jurich. If the University of Louisville Board of Trustees wanted to “start over” with new faces, the Board could simply terminated a contract with Tom Jurich without cause and without damaging his reputation. Instead, Dr. Postel and Chairman Grissom have elected to make it a “for cause” termination, with this letter of termination reciting untrue, unproven allegations.
Tom Jurich unequivocally denies all the allegations, and implications emanating from those allegations. The letter of termination is an after-the-fact effort to justify an unwarranted termination “for cause” that the Board of Trustees voted without specifying any charges, at all.
Weekly evaluations were completed in order to supervise each and every coach at the University of Louisville. Associate Athletic Directors along with Tom Jurich were responsible for every head coach’s evaluation. TheAssistant Athletic Directors reported to Tom Jurich directly with these evaluations. These evaluations were discussed every Monday morning in a sports administration meeting. Yearly, Tom Jurich reviewed coach evaluations with the University of Louisville Athletic Association Board. Additionally, coaches enjoyed an open door policy with Tom Jurich. Prior administrations knew of this evaluation process and were 100% supportive.
Tom Jurich was one of the most involved Athletic Directors in the United States. He consistently checked in with his coaches and athletes on a daily basis. He was on call 24/7, 365 days a year. Tom Jurich attended games, matches, and meets for all 23 sports, a commitment not all athletic directors have.
Tom Jurich’s job involved oversight of 23 sports (over 60 coaches) and men’s basketball is only one of them. There are NO allegations of wrongdoing in a sport other than men’s basketball. There are also no allegations that Tom Jurich was involved in the current investigation or had any knowledge of NCAA compliance issues. The accusation of “a culture of tolerance” of noncompliance is the exact opposite of what Dr. Postel argued himself to the NCAA in April, including in the pending appeal of the penalties in the April NCAA hearing.
In the April 2017 hearing involving University of Louisville Athletics appeal of NCAA sanctions, the prosecutor for the NCAA included in her closing remarks high praise for Tom Jurich saying he was “open and cooperative and honest in a way rarely seen.” After the April 2017 hearing ended, other NCAA staff said such comments were unheard of in their 34-year career with the NCAA. The NCAA prosecutor would not have made that statement had compliance efforts at University of Louisville been lax. The NCAA has worked with Tom Jurich closely for twenty years. Tom Jurich even served on the NCAA’s original management committee.
It has been falsely stated by Dr. Postel that Tom Jurich entered into multiple purported agreements or understandings with the former President for his own benefit. This is simply untrue. The contracts were clearly subject to the open records act and were in fact, widely published in local and national news media. Four years ago, Tom Jurich was promised that his contract would be restated to accurately reflect promised compensation in a straightforward structure, but this was delayed over and over by the University of Louisville.
Under Tom Jurich’s 20-year tenure, University of Louisville Athletics has earned many accomplishments, such as:
i. The University of Louisville achieved admission into both The Big East Conference and The Atlantic Coast Conference
ii. The University graduates 83% ofallstudent athletes
iii. University of Louisvillestudent athletes have a GPA of over 3.0
iv. Tom Jurich hired the first female Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator in school history
v. Tom Jurich developed community outreach programs, including CardsCare, and CardsFIT to promote community involvement amongstudent athletes
vi. Tom Jurich has taken major steps to achieve gender equity by upgrading funding and supporting staff for existing women’s programs and also adding new sports such as golf, softball, rowing, and lacrosse
vii. Every single varsity sport has had a new facility built
viii. The University of Louisville has won national championships in multiple sports
ix. University of Louisville is the only school to have a Heisman Award Winner and a Golden Spikes Award Winner in the same year
x. Tom Jurich raised over 900 million dollars for the University of Louisville Athletics and University of Louisville
Junior Bridgeman was quoted in a newspaper article about Tom’s leadership – “He brought a new mindset to Louisville, the mindset that there’s no reason any of our teams can’t excel.”
Tom Jurich’s legal team will vigorously defend his rights under his long-standing contract with the University of Louisville. It is unfortunate that President Postel and Board Chair Grissom have chosen to attempt a character assassination of a man who has done so much for Louisville."
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