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Friday, September 21, 2018

Louisville president says Tom Jurich kept school in dark with Adidas deal

Louisville interim president Greg Postel filed an official letter on Monday placing athletic director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave, and the list of grievances against Jurich paint a picture of a shady deal that was worked out with Adidas.

According to Andrew Wolfson of the Courier-Journal, Postel wrote that Jurich recently worked out a $160 million contract extension with Adidas “without timely or appropriate consultation with me or members of U of L Athletic Association Board.” Postel also told reporters he had no knowledge of the new deal until it was complete.

“It would have been nice to know more about the agreement beforehand,” the university president said Monday.

Postel ordered Jurich last spring to start attending meetings with Louisville’s board of trustees after a powerful booster complained that the AD wasn’t listening to input from the board.

“You are the vice president of athletics and an administrator of the university,” Postel wrote in his letter. “Your contract requires you to perform your duties in an exemplary fashion, to demonstrate adherence to all state, federal and local laws and ordinances.”

Adidas is scheduled to provide $160 million to Louisville over the next 10 years, $79 million of which would be in cash. Postel would not rule out that the money from the deal has now been tainted due to the recent fraud and corruption scandal, noting that the university has to “study it.”

Postel’s letter to Jurich on Monday came in the wake of some big-money donors writing the president a letter outlining why Jurich, who has been Louisville’s AD for 20 years, should stay.

Louisville was one of several universities named in an FBI investigation alleging that a top Adidas executive paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to funnel top recruits to Adidas-sponsored programs. Adding more intrigue to the situation, Jurich’s daughter apparently has a role with the school that could raise some red flags.

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