Veteran Rockcastle County coach Tom Larkey won’t mince words about the way the University of Louisville treated his senior lineman, Brad Durham.
“I thought it was one of the most unethical and sorriest things I have ever seen done,” said Larkey. “He did everything they asked. He committed early just like they wanted. This was a very unethical thing to do.”
What Louisville did was withdraw its scholarship offer to Durham even though he verbally committed to play for the Cardinals in late August.
Larkey thinks after the Cardinals beat West Virginia last week and gained even more national recognition, they got another commitment from a player they felt was better than Durham.
“When that happened, they just decided to back out on their word to Brad. I know it’s not illegal, but that sure is unethical,” Larkey said.
Larkey describes the 6-5, 305-pound Durham as a “workaholic” who has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.
“They obviously don’t know the real Brad Durham. He’s a good kid. He’s not someone you have to worry about being ineligible or getting in trouble. He’s a team leader. He’s not selfish,” Larkey said. “They liked him fine in August. I don’t know what has changed with him since then.”
However, Larkey says he anticipates a big change in the way Kentucky high school coaches — and in-state recruits — view Louisville.
“I don’t see how any high school coach could trust them when they are talking to one of your players,” Larkey said. “I don’t know how a recruit could trust them after what they did to Brad. If this is the way (Louisville coach) Bobby Petrino is going to treat people, then I am glad Brad is not going there to play for him. I think a lot of people have lost faith in them over this.”
Larkey called UK assistant coach Steve Ortmayer today. Durham picked Louisville over Kentucky, but Larkey says UK has never wavered about its belief in Durham.
“I think everything will work out for Brad still. He’s going to Kentucky Saturday when they play Vanderbilt. I would expect that he would end up going to Kentucky,” Larkey said. “I know one thing. Rich Brooks would never do this to a kid. Rich Brooks keeps his word.”