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Cardinal Carvings July Edition


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Spillman arrested for DUI again

Card also faces drug, gun charges

By Brian Bennettand Andrew Wolfson


Junior wide receiver JaJuan Spillman's career with the University of Louisville football team likely is over after his second arrest in less than 18 months.

Spillman, 21, was arrested at 12:08 a.m. yesterday and charged with driving under the influence, possession of marijuana, carrying a concealed weapon and having no insurance, according to court records. Just last month, Spillman pleaded guilty to a marijuana possession charge stemming from his arrest Jan. 31, 2007.

In the later incident, Spillman was stopped by police on Shelbyville Road in Middletown because his license plate wasn't illuminated, Louisville Metro Police spokesman Phil Russell said. He took some time to pull over and smelled of marijuana, Russell said.

Spillman then failed a field sobriety test and admitted he had marijuana in his possession, Russell said. Police found a marijuana cigarette and a .25-caliber pistol with one round in the chamber in his car, Russell said.

Spillman was being held in Metro Corrections on a $5,000 full-cash bond yesterday while awaiting arraignment this morning.

The Pleasure Ridge Park High School product, who was suspended for the last half of last season for undisclosed reasons, probably won't play again for the Cardinals. But any official decision will have to wait until coach Steve Kragthorpe returns from a family vacation in Mexico.

"We are aware of JaJuan's situation," U of L football spokesman Rocco Gasparro said. "… JaJuan's situation will be addressed when coach Kragthorpe returns later in the week."

The January 2007 arrest occurred shortly after a car accident near campus. According to the police report, Spillman and a passenger admitted they had been smoking marijuana in the car, and police officers found 9.3 grams of the substance. He was charged with DUI and possession of marijuana.

That DUI charge was dropped last month, mostly because police couldn't prove he had been smoking right before the accident. But he pleaded guilty to the possession charge and was ordered to pay a $100 fine and attend drug counseling. An August hearing was scheduled to determine whether Spillman was following the terms of his plea bargain.

U of L officials said Spillman was disciplined internally after the arrest.

Kragthorpe suspended Spillman indefinitely after last season's North Carolina State game. Though Kragthorpe never gave a reason for the suspension, Spillman had been spotted arguing with coaches on the sideline during that game.

He was reinstated after the season and participated in spring practice. He was vying for a starting job at wide receiver.

One of the fastest players on the team, Spillman caught nine passes for 64 yards and rushed four times for 42 yards last season. He also averaged 22.2 yards on 18 kickoff returns.

If he is dismissed, Spillman would become the 21st scholarship underclassman to leave the team since the spring of 2007.

Brian Bennett can be reached at (502) 582-7177. Andrew Wolfson can be reached at (502) 582-7189.

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From Brian Bennett's Uof L Blog-Very Interesting. The Following is a list of players that have left U of L since the spring of 2007.

Michael Adams, DE: concussions

Anthony Allen, RB: transferred

Lamar Alston, CB: dismissed

Jeremy Baker, OL: transferred

Marcel Benson, OL: heart condition

Rod Council, CB: dismissed

Mike Donoghue, OL: spinal condition

Marcus Gordon, OL: left team

Aundre Henderson, DL: quit team

Jonathan Holston, DE: dismissed

Dale Martin, RB: transferred

James McKinney, DL: academics (transfer, never played)

C.J. Millenbaugh, OL: left team (transfer, never played)

Lamar Myles, LB: left early for NFL

George Stripling, RB: dismissed

Mario Urrutia, WR: left early for NFL

Peanut Whitehead, DE: spinal condition

Willie Williams, LB: dismissed

Tyler Wimsatt, LB: dismissed

Josh Miller, WR: left team

Craig James, CB: left team

That's 21 players, scholarship players only, and doesn't count those that signed and never made it to campus. That's an entire recruiting class.

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Louisville receiver Guy shot near club

Associated Press


LOUISVILLE  Louisville wide receiver Trent Guy was shot in the back early Saturday outside a garage near a downtown nightclub. The school said it expects him to fully recover.

The 20-year-old junior was taken to University Hospital, where he was in stable condition after surgery, athletic department spokesman Rocco Gasparro said.

â€ÂHis injuries aren't as severe as they could be,“ said Gasparro, who visited Guy. â€ÂAt this time, we expect him to have a full recovery, but it's too early to speculate on his playing status.“

Police said there have been no arrests and they are investigating.

Gasparro said an argument was sparked after a man touched Guy's fiancée at the club. The club asked them to leave. On the way to Guy's car, two men  one having clashed with Guy at the club  opened fire on the victim and his fiancée, Gasparro said.

The shooting was reported about 2:25 a.m., police spokesman Phil Russell said. He declined to say if Guy was shot, citing police department policy, but he confirmed there was a shooting involving a 20-year-old male.

Guy played in all 12 games for the Cardinals last season at receiver and was the team's top kick returner. He caught 11 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns, and averaged 22.2 yards on kickoff returns and scored a touchdown. He was expected to start at receiver this season.

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Kragthorpe has the fan who counts

While there are many questions surrounding this season's University of Louisville football team, there is one certainty:

Athletic director Tom Jurich is lined up squarely behind his second-year head coach, Steve Kragthorpe.

"He's as good a coach as I've ever hired," he said yesterday at the annual Governor's Cup Kickoff Luncheon at the University Club in Lexington. "I'm going to stand behind him as long as it takes. I'm in this for the long haul, to build it the right way."

If you know Jurich, you know he's not putting out spin. He's not saying what he thinks he has to say. He's saying what he wants to say. And it's a message that U of L fans, like it or not, should accept on its face. Jurich has made his decision.

He also made a prescient observation.

"Our fan base," he said, "they've got to make their own decisions."

It's a strange thing to say about a fan base, but these are strange times at U of L. I don't know how large the disgruntled segment of the fan base is after a 6-6 season with no bowl berth, but it's vocal enough to prompt a statement like that from Jurich.

This question of fans in decision-making mode is one reason the Cardinals carry more pressure into the season-opening rivalry against Kentucky. They're playing not only to win but to win over a segment of their fans.

You have to wonder what the home-crowd atmosphere will be if they don't. The stands may hold as much drama as the field in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium next month.

Yesterday Jurich praised Kragthorpe's handling of off-the-field issues.

"He's ruled the program with an iron fist, and I'm very proud of that," he said. "He's done discipline with actions much more than words."

All of that is fine, but ultimately it'll be actions on the field that determine the decisions of fans still on the fence about this staff.

And some of them are still shaking their heads when they hear about discipline but read about arrests, or remember pictures of a senior captain flashing an obscene gesture in UK's Commonwealth Stadium, or wonder whether a senior linebacker really did spit in the face of West Virginia's Pat White after studying the video like a scene from Seinfeld's "Magic Loogie" episode.

Maybe it shouldn't be surprising that if a program's coach considers (or takes) another job after every season for six straight years, as has happened at U of L, you might get some fans thinking about opting out once in a while.

Jurich pointed out that Kragthorpe is "a guy who has had many opportunities to get out of here, and he hasn't. He's going to stay for the fight."

But how much Kragthorpe made at his last job or how many chances he's had to leave ultimately will have little bearing on the mood of Cardinals fans this season.

I don't doubt that a majority of them will rally behind Jurich and Kragthorpe. Fans here have been through worse times, but they are now facing some tough times they didn't expect and, frankly, don't completely understand.

"There's no lies; we're going to rebuild," Jurich said. "We've got to recruit. Our depth is down and we've got to find our numbers, but we're going to take it on."

Jurich has made his decision. Kragthorpe is his coach, even if things get rough. That's one thing U of L fans can be sure of, even those who aren't sure how they feel about it.

Reach Eric Crawford at (502) 582-4372 or ecrawford@courier-journal.com. Comment on this column, and read his blog and previous columns, at www.courier-journal.com/crawford.

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From the day Krag was hired I really thought they got a good one.  I know they had a bad year but I don't think he's a bad coach.  He is a completely different type of coach than Paytrino is so its understandable that he would have players not playing hard, defecting, and dismissed.  I think he is a better coach than Paytrino but he needs to get his guys in their.  I think they'll be more competitive this year and could break out in his 3rd or 4th year.

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