Kenny Payne Likens 12-52 Tenure At Louisville To The Titanic, Blames People For “Jumping Off”

Kenny Payne
Kent Spencer

The Payne is over.

A little over two years ago, Louisville Cardinal basketball fans were clamoring for the university to fill the vacant head coaching position by bringing in longtime NBA  and college basketball assistant coach (and former U of L player) Kenny Payne.

Fans got what they wanted, and in an ironic twist, they were calling for Payne to be fired soon after the ship with him at the helm set sail. In two seasons, Kenny Payne had 12 wins and 52 losses, with his most recent defeat coming in the first round of the ACC Tournament.

During Kenny Payne’s time, the Louisville Cardinals were ranked among the worst winning percentages in all of college basketball:

After every abysmal, blowout loss, Louisville fans called for Kenny Payne to be let go. There were even some from the loyal fanbase to say they had seen enough after the first year of the “Kenny Payne Experiment,” and honestly, they might have been right in saying so.

The only issue was the contract Louisville signed Payne to made it hard to part ways with him, but even the looming large payout wasn’t enough for Kenny to keep his job (this further cements that the best job you can have is a fired college coach).

Shortly after Louisville’s loss in the ACC Tournament, “sources” started feeding the news that Cardinal basketball fans have been longing to hear. The University of Louisville, which is without a doubt one of the top 10 programs in the history of college basketball, finally decided to end the Payne.

Kenny Payne will no longer be the head basketball coach at Louisville, despite his best efforts in what will be his final press conference as a Cardinal to get one more year with the program.

A reporter asked Payne what he thought his future was at the University of Louisville, and the head coach somehow managed to pour even more gasoline on the dumspter fire with this mess of an answer:

“For me, I go back to day one, and it’s unfortunate that we’re talking about this right now. When I walked into the program as the new head coach, I talked about (how) I needed everybody on the same page. We sort of forgot that.

I talked about how I’m not going to let you blame me. I’m not standing up here by myself. I need all of Louisville with me. We sort of forgot that. I talked about (how) it’s going to take time, and I’m gonna watch and see who jumped on and off the Titanic. We sort of forgot that.”

If you are trying to convince people that your tenure as head coach at Louisville was not a disaster, one of the worst things you can do is directly relate your time with the University to the Titanic. THE TITANIC!

First off, Mr. Payne, no one was jumping onto the Titanic, at least when the ship was sinking. And secondly, of course people were jumping off of the “unsinkable ship” as it took on water, because they were trying to avoid the disaster that was playing out right in front of them.

In a way, this being Kenny Payne’s final moments with the Cardinals is poetic. He accidentally described his time as head coach with Louisville in a way that fans, analysts, and college basketball fans have been trying to put a finger on for the past two seasons.

When he was first hired, it seemed like it was the biggest and best thing to happen for Louisville in years. What could go wrong? Well, in the ocean of college basketball, the S.S. Kenny Payne ended up at the very bottom of the sea, though no one imagined that would have been possible.

Just like the Titanic…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock