- Eamonn Brennan, ESPN Staff Writer
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If "number of incoming players lost to ineligibility, injury, or vague transfer status problems" was a quantifiable statistic, the Louisville Cardinals would be leading the nation in it.
First, there was the news that Memphis transfer Roburt Sallie would be unable to transfer immediately thanks to a matriculation deadline preventing Sallie from using his fourth year of eligibility as a graduate student at the school. Then the NCAA informed coach Rick Pitino that Justin Coleman, Louisville's best 2010 recruit (and the No. 15-ranked shooting guard in the class), was unable to qualify academically. Those two losses were bad enough.
Today, there's yet more newcomer news: Pitino told reporters that recruit Gorgui Dieng, a 6-foot-10 native of Dakar, Senegal, was ruled ineligible by the NCAA. Pitino also announced that junior guard Jared Swopshire would miss six weeks with a -- get ready to cringe -- "sports hernia-type injury." Freshman guard Russ Smith is also laid up; he'll miss the next eight to 12 weeks with an injury.
In other words, almost all of Pitino's 2010 recruiting class -- which was pretty mediocre in the first place -- is currently injured or ineligible. It also means the two best players in that class -- Coleman and Dieng -- are unlikely to ever play a game in a Cardinals uniform. Coleman is now enrolled at Marshall. Louisville is still appealing Dieng's case.
Once, South Park Elementary fourth-grader Eric Cartman froze himself because he couldn't wait three weeks for the release of Nintendo Wii. Upon waking in a dystopic, gerbil-dominated future, Cartman learned the lesson I'd now encourage all Louisville fans to heed: It doesn't work. Don't try it. That heralded 2011 recruiting class will be here sooner than you think. You just have to get through 2010 first.