Louisville Arena Drama – Overspending, Corruption?

A Louisville contracting company president claims the Louisville Arena Authority is spending at least $1 million more than necessary to demolish two buildings on the arena site. Furthermore, it claims the Authority ignored the only bid from a qualified local contractor in favor of a Cincinnati company.

In January, the Authority announced it would pay O’Rourke Wrecking Company, of Cincinnati, $2.8 million to demolish the LG&E power substation and the Riverview Square building. Jon Davies, president of CRS Demolition of Louisville, says his company put in a bid to demolish the buildings for $1.6 million, but wasn’t even interviewed by Authority managers.

Davies said the bids were supposed to be considered on a point system — with 50 points for the amount in the bid, 10 for minority participation, 30 for qualifications and 10 for time frame. Davies said that based on that criteria, CRS would have had 100 points.

Another company, Dore and Associates of Michigan, submitted a bid that was less than O’Rourke’s, at$2.6 million.

Davies said he has been pitching the story to local media outlets, including the Courier-Journal, which he said has shown little interest in the story.

Basketball Players Get Special Treatment?

Surely you jest! And this time we’re not talking about free Escalades and Lexus SUVs.

Brandon Ortiz lays out a story we haven’t heard much about in a while.

Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael ruled that police were right in concealing the identity of a UK basketball star accused of raping Cynthia Wilson Smithers at Wildcat Lodge. The ruling comes after a 2006 opinion from the Attorney General supporting an open records request by the Herald-Leader in its attempt to cover the investigation.

Judge Ishmael wasn’t down with our sunshine laws, though, and claimed the OAG and H-L were being offensive for, you know, wanting access to public records. He says documents with redacted names are adequate for the purposes of scrutiny. We’re no lawyers but we’re not sure that’s a good argument. Well, not since he claimed UK’s basketball players aren’t public figures.

Aren’t UK’s basketball guys more well-known than Oprah in Kentucky? What on earth is the judge talking about?

Cashing In on the Gullible 9/11-Style

UofL Basketball Coach Rick Pitino – the Famous Democrat and supporter of Bruce Lunsford – is supporting 9udy 11iuliani and attended a major fundraiser for the presidential candidate at Jeff Ruby’s in Louisville yesterday. Definitely leaves one wondering whether or not Rick Pitino knows how to think for himself… and whether or not he realizes 9udy has done nothing but pretend to be the savior from September 11, 2001.

Coach P says 9udy 11iuliani uplifted NYC during a time of tragedy. We have to wonder if Pitino is talking about working with crooked Bernie Kerik? Maybe all the crap Mr. 9/11 never accomplished? Who even knows?

Pitino’s endorsement definitely promotes the 9udy 11iuliani insanity among the believe-it-if-it’s-on-TV crowd. 9/11! 9/11! 9udy saved the world! How embarrassing. Not that anyone takes him seriously when it comes to politics or anything.

This little incident reminds us of this amazing ‘Rudy for the Gays’ commercial:

Kragthorpe Leaving UofL – More than a Rumor

We were quick to dismiss talk that Steve Kragthorpe was even considering leaving the head football coaching position at U of L. Just a rumor, we thought, as is inevitable at this time of year.

Sure, it’s been a tough year for Kragthorpe, and it turns out the coach may not be so keen at taking the heat. WHAS11’s Kyle Draper is reporting tonight (8:53 p.m.) that the school’s Sports Information Director, Rocco Gasparro, says the coach is 50-50 to leave the hotseat for a vacant head coaching position at SMU. Sources say that job is Kragthorpe’s with a phone call.

Since the story is bound to dominate local headlines for the next few days, let’s trace its origins — which seem to be ESPN columnist and former C-J sports guy Pat Forde. In his column about national coaching changes, Forde writes that relentless criticism has soured Kragthorpe’s view on remaining in the Cardinal hotseat.

In Draper’s report, Gasparro claims that Kragthorpe is “concerned” about what all the scrutiny of the program is doing to his family. Who knew that “thin-skinned” would be an apt adjective to describe the man hand-picked by Atheletics Director Tom Jurich to continue the Cards’ rise to the top of college football.

SMU just fired its coach after the football team lost its ninth straight game. High expectations won’t be an issue there, and neither would there be a national spotlight. Break-even will be as celebrated in Dallas as it is derided in Louisville.

Expect an announcement during the upcoming holiday, or sooner, about Kragthorpe’s future, and don’t be surprised if these rumors are true. And don’t expect any tears from the school’s faithful.

Breaking: Spillman Suspended Indefinitely from Cardinals

Following up on a story Page One broke in August…

The University of Louisville wide receiver JaJuan Spillman has been indefinitely suspended from the Cardinals football team.

Rumors abound. Is this a result of his accident in January? Who knows?


UPDATE @ 6:00

UofL’s Coach Steve Kragthorpe is keeping his lips zipped tightly. Here’s part of the Courier-Journal’s update:

Kragthorpe wouldn’t say whether those charges were related to this suspension but did talk about how hard it is to discipline players. He has dismissed at least four players since the end of spring practice.

“You have to look at the situation from an objective standpoint and not an emotional standpoint,” he said. “And you also have to look at the timeline and look at all the different things that have transpired.

“The easy decision is to just let a guy go right away. The hard decision is when you have to continually look at things and try to continually help a young man and you basically come to the end of the rope where you say, ‘We can’t do this anymore.’”

Sounds like Spillman has been a problem-and-a-half or hasn’t been living up to his end of the deal.

P.S. Many rumors floating around about Spillman possibly having been in the vehicle with Willie Williams at the time of his arrest. If that’s true? OH SNAP.

The Meaningful Collateral

May be uncharacteristic of a few journo-politicos to love sports. But we have a confession to make: they’re what we secretly live for. Pigeon poop, mary jane eating, being a MAN!, being 40! and all.

If you love sports like we do? Check out The Meaningful Collateral. It’s a great new sports blog with maybe the funniest podcasts in existence. The site is run by professionals but they don’t take themselves too seriously.

Give them a visit for all your sports-related kicks. We have a feeling you’ll enjoy it.

Spillman Case Goes to Trial

It’s a day of updates for us, so….

To update the story Page One broke last month about UofL wide receiver JaJuan Spillman: after several continuances his case is going to trial.

Spillman was arrested earlier this year after an automobile accident and was charged with driving under the influence and being in possession of marijuana (9.3 grams, a misdemeanor.)