In a letter to former Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich dated Oct. 20, the university’s interim president Gregory Postel sought to explain and justify the decision by the board of trustees to fire Jurich two days after the termination of former basketball coach Rick Pitino.
In the letter, Postel alleges “willful misconduct” on the part of Jurich, which was 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.” Postel wrote that Jurich's termination was justified and “with cause.”
Legal representation for Jurich responded with a statement Tuesday, calling the letter from the interim president “an attempt to smear the reputation” of the former athletic director.
"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,” the response reads.
According to ESPN, Postel’s letter to Jurich includes allegations that he failed to promote the school’s zero-tolerance policy for infractions within his department, creating a “culture of tolerance within University Athletics for behavior that falls far short of NCAA, ACC, and University expectations.”
Postel also alleged that Jurich conspired with former university president James Ramsey for personal financial gain, and concealed the details from university officials and the public.
Jurich’s attorney denies these claims, saying that any deals made by Jurich were public knowledge. “The contracts were clearly subject to the open records act and were in fact, widely published in local and national news media," he wrote.
Jurich’s attorney has promised to “vigorously defend his rights under his long-standing contract with the University of Louisville."