Crum Decision On Hold

Louisville will wait until the end of the basketball season before making a decision on coach Denny Crum.

"We have learned that ESPN and local media have broadcast that U of L will be terminating coach Crum's contract. This information is not true," Louisville president John Shumaker said in a letter to the school's Board of Trustees Thursday.

"As I have stated publicly, the university has complete confidence in (athletic director) Tom Jurich's decision not to make employment decisions affecting head coaches during their teams' seasonal play. Nothing has changed Tom's position or mine in support of Tom."

Shumaker declined further comment Friday.

Crum's contract runs through the end of the 2002-2003 season. It contains a termination clause that requires the university to pay Crum $2 million if his employment ends before June 30 and $1.5 million if it ends after that.

Crum was traveling with the team, which plays at Utah Saturday. Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein, contacted in Salt Lake City, said Crum would not comment on the broadcast reports.

Jurich declined comment Friday.

Jurich met with Crum Jan. 25 in a meeting requested by Crum. Jurich said then he would evaluate Crum and his program at the end of the season - as he does with every program after every season. He portrayed himself then as a Crum supporter, but stopped short of saying Crum would return next season.

Crum has 673 career wins, which ranks 14th all-time. His six Final Four appearances rank second among active coaches to Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, who has eight.

The Cardinals haven't reached the Final Four since winning the NCAA title in 1986 and are only 60-58 over the past four seasons. They are 10-15 this season and would have to win their remaining five games and one in the Conference USA tournament to avoid Crum's second losing record in the past four seasons.

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