WHAT'S IN THE CARDS?
Louisville's 72-52 loss to Indiana last Saturday in the Big Four Classic showed that the Cardinals can't compete with the elite, at least not yet. But the program may have bigger problems brewing away from the court.
A clash between coach Denny Crum and university president Donald C. Swain over academic standards, among other issues, has Crum openly talking about life after Louisville. Crum, in his 20th season with the Cardinals, has stopped speaking to university administrators about an extension of his 10-year contract, which expires in July 1993.
"I might be receptive to other offers, depending on what they are," said Crum, who will receive a $1 million bonus when his current contract expires. "The whole atmosphere around here has changed. It's not like it was. Everything seems to be going in a direction that will make it very difficult for us to have success and compete at the level we've been competing."
The crux of the matter is increased scrutiny of the academic performance of Louisville players. Only six of the 37 scholarship players who completed their eligibility at the school from 1981 to '90 earned degrees within five years of enrolling. On top of that, four of this year's recruits are academically ineligible.
The administration reacted by passing a rule in October that requires juniors and seniors to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in order to play. Crum believes that the rule puts his team at a competitive disadvantage.
The discord between Crum and Swain escalated when Crum took part in a demonstration to protest the school's decision to use most of the proceeds from the football team's Jan. 1 Fiesta Bowl appearance for a minority scholarship program. Crum thinks that more of the money should be used for scholarships and equipment in Louisville's nonrevenue sports.
Crum certainly is not opposed to the idea of higher academic standards or more minority scholarships, and it may be that what he really wants is a bigger voice in the decision-making process. Still, it appears that in this situation Crum is the one who should do most of the bending.
RECRUITING SEASON OPENS
You probably didn't realize it, but the most popular place for college coaches to be last weekend was Garden City, Kans. Nolan Richardson of Arkansas and Roy Williams of Kansas were there, as were recruiters for men's and women's teams at more than 100 other schools, including Oklahoma, Florida, DePaul, Missouri, Texas, Washington and Oregon.