It’s Time for David Padgett to Diversify

Photo by Jeff Nunn of

Photo by Jeff Nunn of

By Zach McCrite

know I have.

David Padgett should do this.

If I were David Padgett, save for a dream postseason

by the Cardinals, I wouldn’t want to be at the University

of Louisville after this season ends.

That’s nothing against Padgett. Quite the opposite.

I’m a fan of what he’s done at U of L. He’s held this thing

together with duct tape, a piece of chewed bubble gum

and some paper clips. He’s been nothing short of the

basketball version of MacGyver, all things considered.

But, March, for all intents and purposes, will be

fruitless for the Cards. Then, what? The question for

Padgett, more or less, becomes “How do I want to

build my coaching resume (if coaching is indeed what

he wants to do as a career) from this point forward?”

He could stay at his alma mater and try to be the

savior. That’s certainly an option, provided UofL even

wants Padgett to be the next coach.

For the sake of this argument, let’s assume they do.

Now, obviously money talks. Perhaps Padgett isn’t

much worried about building his resume. Shoot, he’s

already at a prestigious program, historically. He

wouldn’t be crazy to think “Oh hey, UofL is going to

give me a couple million dollars a year? I know I can

make this program better. Besides, I’m only going to

get $500,000 a year if I’m a head coach at a mid-major

school. They’re going to give me $2 million a year

here? Let’s do this.”

By the way, I’m just throwing out that $2 million

number as a guess. Who knows what it would be?

Regardless, U of L would likely offer four times—

minimum—what a mid-major would offer for the

services of a guy with the resume of Padgett. That

shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If it were me, though, I’d hit the road. Cut my

teeth some more elsewhere. I would have enough

confidence in myself as a coach to go all in. Do it the

old-fashioned way. Why? It’s simpler than you think.

First off, this year, Padgett has proven that he’s not a

basketball idiot. He’s certainly competent. Looks like

he has the chops. Now, how much more than that has

he proven? I don’t know. That’s up for debate. But, at

the least, he’s proven that he’s not a nimrod.

Has he made some rookie mistakes? Eh, maybe,

but anybody in that same position would make a

mistake here or there. Who cares, right?

But, so far, at the University of Louisville, Padgett

and the coaching staff he scrounged together and

finalized (and did so fairly well) just 24 days before

Louisville’s first official game this season have already

let a full season of recruiting come and go without as

much as an iota of interest from any appealing recruit.

Tip of the cap to all of those involved in StripperGate

for that one.

The point remains, Padgett will already be without

at least one good recruiting class. That will make for

an uphill climb right out of the gate for whoever the

coach may be. And it might not end there. There

may be more virtually-empty recruiting classes to

follow since prized recruits might be too nervous to

plant their flag somewhere that they may think will

be rebuilding.

Add on top of the turmoil that Louisville is already

in with StripperGate, there’s also the cloud that’s going

to hang over the University in the future with the Brian

Bowen/Adidas case. Who knows what will come of it.

Maybe nothing, but the NCAA is going to take their

sweet time, which means that cloud will remain,

which means there are going to be head coaches at

other places that are easily going to be able to recruit

against the next head coach at U of L.

Bottom line, recruiting is going to be much tougher

than it’s ever been at Louisville. A prominent name in

college basketball to take over the program might help

in that regard. Padgett’s Name would not.

But hey, let’s give Padgett a little credit here. Maybe

Louisville makes the tournament this season and

maybe the Cardinals go on a run. Odds are obviously

against it, but if it happens, Padgett might be able to

use that as a recruiting tool, showing big time recruits

that he was able to make some serious noise in the

NCAA Tournament with the cards (no pun intended)

seriously stacked against them.

I would go out on a limb and say that the Cardinals

would be uber-lucky to make any NCAA Tournaments,

especially as the potential recruiting base dwindles.

The question Padgett would have to seriously look

in the mirror and ask is this: as much as he loves the

University of Louisville, is he willing to risk his head

coaching career at his alma mater where it might

(keyword: might) be damn near impossible for him,

and many other non-household-name coaches for that

matter, to thrive—even if given a long leash to do it?

Is he willing to have his career die on “Cardinal Hill?”

If it is, then by all means, go for it!

But If I’m David Padgett, I say, “Peace. I love the

University of Louisville, and I’m so thankful that I

got the opportunity to be an interim head coach. I

have proven to the rest of the free world that I’m not

a dolt. Now I can go and build my resume elsewhere.

Then, who knows? Maybe you’ll have me back when

the dust settles.”

For now, though, if Louisville offers Padgett the job

permanently, Padgett should pass.

It’s time to diversify his coaching portfolio.

Want to find Zach on Twitter? Just follow @BigEZ.

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