After a great year for the Louisville football team, which ended with a win over No. 3 Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the last thing coach Charlie Strong and athletic director Tom Jurich would want is bad publicity.
On Monday the football program received some bad news. A source told Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com that the NCAA had called defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt about some dealings he had with University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro. Hurtt was an assistant at Miami before coming to Louisville three years ago.
This isn't a complete shock for Louisville fans. In August of 2011, Shapiro told federal agents that Hurtt was a part of several recruiting violations and NCAA violations including being paid to bring recruits to Shapiro's mansion and taking interest-free loans.
Shapiro said in the interview via Yahoo! Sports:
Clint Hurtt became a really good friend of mine. He kept me posted on what was going on with the recruiting inside the university. I lent Clint $5,000, which consisted of two $2,500 payments. One, I wrote him a check. The other I gave him cash. He repaid both loans to me.”
When the allegations came out, head coach Charlie Strong stood by his friend and assistant coach. Strong told WDRB's Tom Lane:
Clint Hurtt has done everything we've asked him to do within the rules here with this program," Strong said. "The NCAA has an enforcement committee and they will come and investigate this, and whenever they come we will open the doors for them. We have nothing to hide."
Feldman's source also said today the NCAA is, "...pretty much throwing everything at him."
The truth is this isn't that shocking. Louisville fans have been expecting the NCAA to look more into this situation since it was first released. The biggest surprise is that it has taken this long.
The question now is, will Louisville keep Hurtt on staff even though he is being investigated? There has been no issues since he has come to Louisville, but if the NCAA calls someone dirty, that perception can hurt the program.
This could be the end of the road for Clint Hurtt at the University of Louisville.