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Report: Louisville AD Vince Tyra's Interest in FSU 'Mutual and Serious', Relations with UofL President Strained

The athletic director for the Cardinals could soon be on the move to Tallahassee.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - University of Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra could soon be on the move.

According to a report from Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde, the interest between Tyra and Florida State regarding their soon-to-be vacant athletic director position is "mutual and serious", and that it "could come to a resolution as early as Monday". Yahoo! Sports' Pete Thamel reported Friday that Tyra had "emerged as a candidate".

Sunday afternoon, the university's Board of Trustees announced that they had called for a special meeting on Monday at 5:00 p.m. to discuss "personnel matters pursuant to KRS 61.810(1)(f)".

This is a Kentucky statute for "Discussions or hearings which might lead to the appointment, discipline, or dismissal of an individual employee, member, or student without restricting that employee's, member's, or student's right to a public hearing if requested."

Forde also reported that relations between Tyra and University of Louisville president Dr. Neeli Bendapudi were "strained enough that a potential parting could be considered mutual".

On Saturday, Dr. Bendapudi released a statement giving a vote of confidence to Tyra, saying that she has "faith in Vince Tyra's leadership of the department".

She also added that "decisions about personnel matters within the athletic department are made by the Athletic Director". This was a direct response to widespread rumors that she sat in with Tyra on the Friday meeting with head football coach Scott Satterfield, and that she influenced Tyra's decision to retain him for the 2022 season.

"We had a great meeting today," Tyra told WDRB's Eric Crawford after the meeting. "Scott had a very detailed game plan, a very compelling game plan, ready for the meeting. It continues the development that he's tried to do in the first three years. I think everyone feels we're getting further away from where we were three years ago and continue to put ourselves in a good spot."

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This is not the first time that Bendapudi is rumored to have been involved with personnel decisions within the athletic department. When head men's basketball coach Chris Mack was suspended for the first six games of the 2021-22 season, Tyra took full responsibility for the decision.

But, according to Crawford, the decision to suspend Mack "was driven from the president's office, not the athletic department" and that there was "strong debate over proceeding with it".

Tyra, a Louisville native who also serves as the university's president for intercollegiate athletics, was named the interim athletic director at Louisville in October of 2017 following the firing of then-AD Tom Jurich. He was elevated to a full time role six months later.

Since his arrival, Tyra has put an emphasis on major capital projects such as the Women’s Athletics Capital Campaign, the creation of the Cardinals Strategically Organizing Against Racism Committee. Louisville has several upgrades in progress or complete under Tyra's watch, such as Denny Crum Hall, expansion to Cardinal Stadium and a new indoor baseball facility.

Tyra graduated from Trinity High School in Louisville in 1984, and was a four-year baseball letterman and two-time team captain at the University of Kentucky. His father Charlie Tyra was a consensus All-America at UofL, who led the Cardinals to the 1956 NIT Championship, and is one of four players with his jersey number retired at UofL.

(Photo of Vince Tyra via University of Louisville Athletics)

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