Almost immediately after the letter written by Greg Postel informing Tom Jurich of his termination was released to the public, Jurich’s legal counsel released this statement in response:
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 have 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 & every coach at the University of Louisville. Associated Athletic Directors along with Tom Jurich were responsible for every head coach’s evaluation. The Assistant 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 Juirch’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 involvedin 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 & 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 & national news media. Four years ago, Tom Jurich was promised that his contract would be stated 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 & Thhe Atlantic Coast Conference.
ii. The University graduates 83% of all student athletes
iii. University of Louisville student 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 among student 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 & 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 & Golden Spikes Award Winner in the same year
x. Tom Jurich raised over 900 million dollars for the University of Louisville Athletics & the 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.
The following letter was released to the public from President Greg Postel to Tom Jurich notifying of the Board of Trustee’s decision to terminate Jurich as Athletic Director.
Dr. Mr. Jurich,
The Board of Trustees of the University of Louisville has authorized me to provide you with Notice of your termination for cause pursuant to Section 6.3 of the Employment Contract with the University of Louisville dated October 1, 2007. The termination is effective today, October 20, 2017.
The Board of Trustee’s decision to terminate your employment for cause was made only after the consideration of extensive information and weeks of thoughful deliberation. The Board recognized your many accomplishments over the years and was keenly awarely of the gravity of the matter before it. That said, in exercising its fiduciary duty, the Board made the decision that it, in good faither, deemed to be in the best interest of the University.
Your contract and the Position Description approved by the Board of Trustees in November 2003 require you to performn the duties of Athletic Director & Vice Preident in an ‘exemplary fashion.’ You have failed to fulfill these and other obligations and in doing so have engaged in willful misconduct.
As set forth in your Position Description, you had a duty to promote ‘zero tolerance’ for infractions thorugh education and enforcement. However, over the course of several years, under your management & oversigh, University Athletics- and the University itself- have been protrayed negatively, both locally & nationally, as a result of multiple compliane lapses occurring in multiple sports. In response, you have deliberately refused or been slow to take any meaningful disciplinary or enforcement action. This is willfully inconsistent with promoting the University and promoting “zero tolerance”.
In addition, you have demonstrated a consistent & willful lack of supervision of head coaches. As the Athletic Director, you are responsible for supervising head coaches & performing yearly performance reviews & assessments. Despite this obligation, our review of the Deprartment of Athletics personnel files for all varsity athletics head coaches – some of whom have been employed by the University for well over ten years- do not contain a single performance assessment or disciplinary memorandum issued by you. The effect of your willful refusal to supervise & discipline the individuals who report to you – in the face of nationally publicized transgressions- has been to create a culture of tolerance within University Athletics for behavior that falls far short of NCAA, ACC, & University expectations.
The cultuture has now culminated with an FBI investigation implicating certain members of the University’s men’s basketball program in a scheme of fraud & malfeasance in the recruitment of student athletes. Your significant & habitual dereliction of duties has caused substantial damage to the Athletic Deparment & the University as a whole.
During this same time period, your own willful misconduct has also been demonstrated through ineffective management, divisive leadership, unprofessional conduct, and a lack of collegiality best characterized as intimidation and bullying that extends from student government to the University’s senior leadership. This has caused substantial damage to the University.
Finally, although you are employee of the University of Louisville, in your position as Athletic Director you are the “Responsible Officer” and an agent of the University of Louisville Athletic Association (ULAA). In those roles, you are authorized to act for ULAA in carrying out its functions according to the terms & conditions of ULAA’s Management & Agency Agreements with the University. As an officer of ULAA, you have a statutory obligation to discharge your duties in good faith, on an informed basis, and in a manner you honestly believe to be in the best interest of the corporation.
Despite this fiduciary obligation, over the course of several years you have repeatedly engaged in willful misconduct by entering into multiple purported agreements or understandings with former President Ramsey for your own financial or other benefit. Moreover, you entered into these purported agreements or understandings with the intent of concealing them from campus or public knowledge. These undisclosed deals with Dr. Ramsey lacked approval by the either the ULAA Board or the University’s Board of Trustees & constitute repeated breaches of your fiduciary duty. They have caused substantial damage to both ULAA & to the University.
Your deliberate dereliction of duties, unprofessional conduct, bullying, and breach of your fiduciary obligations cannot be considered isolated events. Instead, they are illustrative of a pattern & practice of willful misconduct resulting in substantial detriment to the University. Accordingly, the above misconduct, while not an exhaustive list, constitutes “cause” for termination under Section 6.3 of your Employment Agreement, including under Sectino 6.3(d) “Willful misconduct detrimental to the University.”
Pursuant to Section 6.7 of your Employment Contract, all unearned and unvested compensation, benefits & other incentives provided in your Employment Contract shall be forfeited.
Gregory C. Postel, M.D.
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