Louisville is off to a rough 2-4 start on the season, with one of those wins coming against FCS Indiana State, and the other a three-point victory over Western Kentucky.
Bobby Petrino’s squad lost the opener to Alabama 51-14, and have now dropped three games in a row against Virginia (3-2), Florida State (3-3) and Georgia Tech (3-3). In last week’s game against the Yellow Jackets, Petrino’s defense gave up 66 points and allowed Paul Johnson’s crew to rush for 8 touchdowns on the day.
The rough start has had frustrated fans talking about what it would take to make a change. But with Petrino’s buyout sitting at $14 million, that doesn’t seem like a viable option at this point.
Tom Meeker, a board member, came out to the Courier-Journal and shared that “The university is not in a position to buy him out right now.”
Louisville had to commit a bunch of money toward Chris Mack’s buyout to get him to leave Xavier for the Cardinals basketball job, athletic director Tom Jurich reached a settlement with the school back in May that is for $4.5 million plus other benefits that top out around $7 million, and former basketball coach Rick Pitino has a breach-of-contract lawsuit still pending for around $35 million.
With all that said, the school is clearly not in a financial position to cut the cord on the Petrino era, where he is 77-31 in two different stints with the program. The plus side is that Petrino has been here with Louisville before, back in 2015, when eventual Heisman winner Lamar Jackson was a freshman. Louisville was able to turn things around and went on to finish 8-5 with a win in the Music City Bowl against Texas A&M.
As it sits right now, Louisville has games against top-5 Clemson (on the road), as well as top 25 teams in NC State and Kentucky at home.