LOUISVILLE, Ky. — More than 70 former University of Louisville basketball players filed out of the elevators at Cardinal Stadium Monday night.
Their mission? To meet with athletic director Vince Tyra, President Neeli Bendapudi and current Head Coach Chris Mack.
“That was an opportunity for guys to grow closer to the program and try to figure out what we can do to help them. Nobody is shunning anybody or trying to push them out,” Mack said.
Bendapudi added, “Their number one thing was use us, we are here as resources – tap into us, we want to help our students and it was beautiful.”
The former players said they have felt a lack of engagement and communication with their university.
“We don’t want to be taken for granted – the simple things and it don’t have anything to do with basketball,” Cardinal legend Darrell Griffith said. “Just being involved with community, being involved in the kids’ the school.”
Former Assistant Coach Jerry Eaves added, “I would like to see more minorities in power positions.”
These are issues the former Cardinals have been feeling for quite some time.
“Disconnect – when coach left, Coach [Denny] Crum left that sense of family we had prior was different,” Griffith said.
Griffith believes Coach Mack has been making strides with the former players.
“We’ve been over Coach Mack's house several times he's invited us over there's definitely progress, but there's things that need to be done moving forward."
Eaves added, "I do believe Dr. Neeli Bendapudi was sincere."
Wiley Brown, another Cardinal legend said he was optimistic and wants to see how far things will go.
Many of the players also felt that NBA Hall of Famer and former Cardinal Wes Unseld was long past due to have a statue in his honor. He passed away last June.