The Cards return to LouisvilleKY following record setting season Friday, Jun 23 2017 

Story and photo from www.gocards.com

OMAHA, Neb. – Despite home runs from Brendan McKay and Logan Taylor, the No. 7 national seed Louisville baseball team was unable to overcome an early four-run deficit suffering a season-ending 4-3 loss to No. 6 TCU in a College World Series elimination game on Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha.

With the loss, the Cardinals closed their record-setting season with a 53-12 mark overall after making the program’s fourth CWS appearance, including the third in the last five seasons. Louisville set school record for victories in a season surpassing the previous record of 51 achieved in 2013 while also winning its opening game in Omaha for the first time in its four CWS berths. The 2017 season also included the program’s third straight ACC Atlantic Division championship and its first ever National Player of the Year.

Both McKay and Taylor connected for solo home runs, while Josh Stowers was 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI as the Cardinals dropped their second straight CWS game when out-hitting an opponent after finishing with an 8-7 edge against the Horned Frogs (49-17). Devin Mann added two hits and scored once in the loss.

cards baseball

TCU gained command early Thursday plating four runs on four hits, all with two outs, in the second inning. Elliott Barzilli started the rally with a single through the right side off freshman lefty Nick Bennett and after stealing both second and third, scored on a RBI double to left center from Connor Wanhanen. After being hit by a pitch, Josh Watson joined Wanhanen with stolen bases before Ryan Merrill drove both runners home with a RBI single to right. Following a pitching change, Austen Wade connected for a RBI single to drive Merrill home for the 4-0 lead.

The Cardinals started chipping away at the deficit with a run in the third inning on a RBI single from Stowers. Mann led off with a single to center and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Taylor before scoring on the single to left by Stowers.

Louisville cut the margin to 4-2 in the fourth when McKay launched the first offering from TCU lefty starter Nick Lodolo into the right field seats for his 18th home run of the season. An inning later, Taylor led off the fifth inning by connecting for his second career home run and the first this season to narrow the gap to 4-3. The four-bagger for Taylor was his first since hitting a two-run shot against Cal State Fullerton in game two of the 2015 NCAA Super Regional on June 7, 2015.

After Louisville had garnered the momentum with a run in three straight innings, the Horned Frogs regained control with a call to the bullpen for Sean Wymer, who finished with five strikeouts and surrendered only two hits in 4.1 shutout innings of relief for the win. Wymer, who closed the game for TCU, moved to 6-4 on the season with the performance.

The Cardinals also received strong relief performances on Thursday starting with sophomore lefthander Adam Wolf, who had two strikeouts and just two hits in 3.1 innings of shutout work from the pen. Sophomore righty Sam Bordner added two perfect innings of relief with three strikeouts and junior righthander Lincoln Henzman added a scoreless inning of work. Bennett suffered his first collegiate loss and dropped to 5-1 overall after allowing four runs on three hits with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings.

With Thursday’s win, TCU advances to face No. 3 Florida on Friday at 7 p.m., CT. The Horned Frogs will need two wins over the Gators to advance to the CWS Finals, while UF will need just one win to move ahead to the final round in Omaha.

Fans can follow Louisville baseball on Twitter (@UofLBaseball) at http://twitter.com/uoflbaseball and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ulbaseball.

POSTSEASON NOTES
• Louisville’s four-year seniors — Michael Bollmer, Colin Lyman, Jake Sparger, Ryan Summers and Logan Taylor – closed their careers with 200 wins (most for any four-year class in school history), two College World Series appearances, four NCAA Super Regionals and four regular season conference championships.
• The Cardinals have reached the 50-win plateau in four of the last five seasons, highlighted by the school record 53 wins in 2017.
• Louisville was chosen as a national seed for the third straight season and the fourth time in school history in 2017. The Cardinals also won their third straight ACC Atlantic Division championship.
• In the classroom, the Louisville baseball team registered a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better for the 12th consecutive semester. The notable stretch of academic success has covered six years overall and has coincided with six straight NCAA Championship bids, five NCAA Super Regional appearances and three College World Series berths/
Brendan McKay, the highest MLB Draft selection in school history at No. 4 to the Tampa Bay Rays, concludes his Louisville career with a .328 batting average, 28 home runs and 132 RBI in 182 starts and 189 total appearances as a hitter. The 2017 season closed with a .341 average, 18 home runs, 57 RBI, 15 doubles and .457 on-base percentage. On the mound, the 2017 National Player of the Year is the school record holder in career (391) and single season (146) strikeouts while also ranking No. 2 in career wins (32) and career innings pitched (315.1) and No. 3 in career starts (47). The lefty capped his junior season with an 11-3 record and 2.56 ERA to go with the record-setting strikeout total.
• A First Team All-American, infielder Drew Ellis closed his third collegiate season as Louisville’s team leader in batting average (.355), home runs (20), doubles (18), and slugging percentage (.701).
• The 2017 NCBWA Stopper of the Year, junior Lincoln Henzman is ranked third in single season saves (16) and career saves (19) while also ranking 10th in career pitching appearances with 75. Henzman closed 2017 with a 3-0 record and 1.67 ERA to go with his 16 saves.
• ABCA Gold Glove honoree and two-time All-American shortstop Devin Hairston finished the 2017 season with just three errors and a .987 fielding percentage while starting all 65 games. He also hit .309 with three home runs, 52 RBI and 16 doubles.
• Sophomore Josh Stowers paced the offense in the NCAA Championship as the outfielder led the Cardinals with a .407 batting average, five doubles, nine RBI and a .778 slugging percentage in eight postseason games. Overall, Stowers closed the season with hitting .313 with six home runs, 34 RBI, 15 doubles and 22 stolen bases in 59 starts and 65 total appearances.
• Senior Logan Taylor departs Louisville ranked No. 4 in career games played with 238 and eighth in career stolen bases with 51. Taylor also made 139 total starts for the Cardinals.
• Sophomore Sam Bordner closed the season with a 0.41 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. The righthander did not allow a run in 22 of his 23 appearances this season, all out of the bullpen. In his four relief appearances in the NCAA Championship, Bordner did not surrender a hit or run and finished with 13 strikeouts with just two walks in 10.2 innings.
• During his 11 seasons at Louisville, head coach Dan McDonnell has guided the Cardinals to four College World Series berths, seven NCAA Super Regional appearances, 10 NCAA Regional bids, seven regular season conference championships and 34 All-Americans. McDonnell is Louisville’s career wins leader and has accumulated a 509-203 record overall for a .714 winning percentage.

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LouisvilleKY’s Churchill downs unveils Kentucky Derby 144 Logo Tuesday, Jun 20 2017 

 

LOUISVILLE, KY  – Churchill Downs Racetrack has unveiled the official logo for the Kentucky Derby 144. SME, a New York-based marketing agency that has developed the official Derby and Oaks marks since 2007, designed the new logo.  The running of the 144th Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands and will take place on May 5, 2018.

 

For the 144 event logo, SME created a design that immerses the viewer into the grandeur of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. With the iconic Twin Spires as the focal point in a striking brick red, a unique opportunity presented itself for the “144” to serve as the pitch in the roofline, supporting the Twin Spires and creating a sense of depth. A warm taupe badge establishes the mark, making it one that is quite unique from previous Kentucky Derby event logos.

Kentucky Derby 144 logo

The logo will be used on a wide variety of Kentucky Derby merchandise, including apparel for the whole family, glassware, jewelry and other collectibles and gift items. Official merchandise will be available online, at Churchill Downs Racetrack, the Louisville International Airport, the Kentucky Derby Museum Gift Shop and other retail outlets over the summer.

 

Churchill Downs will unveil a new Longines Kentucky Oaks logo later in the year.

 

About the Kentucky Derby

The $2 million Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.  Inaugurated in 1875, the legendary 1 1/4-mile race for three-year-olds is the oldest continuously held major sporting event in North America and the first leg of horse racing’s challenging Triple Crown series. Also known as the “The Run for the Roses,” “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and “America’s Race,” the Kentucky Derby is the most attended horserace in the nation, with nearly 160,000 attendees in 2017.

 

About SME, Inc,

SME (http://www.smebranding.com) is a strategic branding agency, specializing in connecting with audiences through powerful identity development. Founded in 1989, SME enjoys a stellar worldwide reputation of creative excellence, thought leadership and client service. SME’s client list includes some of the leading brands in global sports including the Atlanta Braves, Carolina Hurricanes, Miami Marlins and many more.

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LouisvilleKY’s interim university president: ‘We will appeal’ Thursday, Jun 15 2017 

Interim President Greg Postel’s statement on NCAA ruling:

Today, we received the ruling from the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Committee on Infractions in the case involving improper activities that took place in Billy Minardi Hall several years ago.

The committee has accepted our self-imposed penalties and levied additional severe penalties that we believe are excessive.

The entire UofL community is saddened by what took place. It never should have happened, and that is why the school acted to severely penalize itself in 2016. Today, however, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions went beyond what we consider to be fair and reasonable. We intend to appeal all aspects of the penalties.

The person responsible for these activities, Andre McGee, long ago left the university, and he has yet to cooperate with investigating officials. We are disappointed that he was not cooperative.

In contrast, UofL did cooperate. We wanted the NCAA Enforcement Staff to uncover what happened. We have been open and transparent throughout this process.

basketball

The NCAA knew how seriously the university treated this matter from the beginning. Once we had the facts and recognized what took place, we did the right thing by taking responsibility and imposing severe penalties on ourselves. We believe the penalties imposed today are unfair to the UofL community and our current and former student-athletes, many of whom have already paid a heavy price for actions that did not involve them. This ruling is also unfair to Coach Pitino, who we believe could not have known about the illicit activities.

This has been a very difficult period for UofL. I am confident that what happened here will never happen again. We have changed our recruitment procedures, imposed additional protections in the dorms and the staff has received additional training. It saddens me that these events took place. Nevertheless, the Committee on Infractions has gone too far and taken actions that are unwarranted. We will appeal.

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NCAA levels sanctions against LouisvilleKY’s Cardinals Thursday, Jun 15 2017 

 Story from NCAA.com
Emily James | NCAA.com
A former Louisville director of basketball operations acted unethically when he committed serious violations by arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others, and did not cooperate with the investigation, according to a Division I Committee on Infractions panel. The head men’s basketball coach violated NCAA head coach responsibility rules when he did not monitor the activities of his former operations director.

Penalties prescribed by the panel include four years of probation for the university; a suspension from the first five Atlantic Coast Conference games of the 2017-18 season for the head coach; a 10-year show-cause order for the former operations director; a one-year show-cause order for a former program assistant; a vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014; men’s basketball scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions; a fine of $5,000, plus the university must return money received through conference revenue sharing for its appearances in the 2012 to 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships. The panel also accepted the university’s self-imposed 2015-16 postseason ban.

NCAA

cards

The former operations director was integral to on-campus recruiting and regularly interacted with visiting prospects. The head coach hired him and placed him in Minardi Hall, a dorm where the basketball team lived, to make sure it was run properly and watch for any potential NCAA violations. By his own admission, the head coach and his assistants did not interact with prospects from 10 p.m. until the next morning.  The panel noted that the head coach essentially placed a peer of the student-athletes in a position of authority over them and visiting prospects, and assumed that all would behave appropriately in an environment that was, for all practical purposes, a basketball dorm.

This arrangement played a role in creating a location where the former operations director’s activities went undetected. The operations director arranged adult entertainment and/or sex acts for 15 prospects, three enrolled student-athletes, a friend visiting with one of the prospects and two nonscholastic coaches. At least seven, and perhaps as many as 10, of the 15 prospects were under the age of 18 at the time. None of the prospects visiting campus knew that the activities would occur and none of them expected the activities to occur on their visits. Some of them expressed surprise and discomfort at what transpired. The panel noted it has not previously encountered a case like this, and that the violations were severe and were intended to provide a substantial recruiting advantage for the university.

“Without dispute, NCAA rules do not allow institutional staff members to arrange for stripteases and sex acts for prospects, enrolled student-athletes and/or those who accompany them to campus,” said the panel in its decision.

The head coach failed to monitor the former operations director when he created the residential environment in which the violations occurred and trusted the former operations director to follow the rules, and delegated monitoring of the former operations director to his assistant coaches without appropriate oversight. The head coach noted his assistant coaches were responsible for monitoring the former operations director. When asked during the investigation, the assistant coaches were unaware of this responsibility. The panel noted that a head coach does not meet his monitoring responsibility by simply trusting an individual to know NCAA rules and to do the right thing.

The former operations director violated multiple NCAA rules when he arranged the activities, including the violation of ethical conduct rules. The panel noted those rules require all staff members to act with honor and dignity, but he instead created an environment that has no place on a college campus.

“NCAA members agree that schools must provide a safe, healthy and positive environment for their student-athletes, not only academically, but in all facets of their lives,” said the panel. “The former operations director, the individual entrusted to keep order at Minardi Hall, created an environment that has no place on a college campus and was directly at odds with college athletics and higher education.”

The former operations director also violated NCAA ethical conduct rules when he did not cooperate and refused to consent to interviews or provide requested records to the NCAA enforcement staff during the investigation.

A former program assistant also failed to fully cooperate in the investigation when he refused to provide requested phone records to the enforcement staff. The records in question were relevant to the investigation and could have helped determine if the former assistant was involved in an incident after the former operations director took a new job at a different school.

Because the violations occurred both before and after the new infractions process, the panel compared the previous penalty structure to the current structure to determine which is more lenient, as outlined in the rule change. After reviewing, the panel determined the previous structure was more lenient and prescribed the following measures:

  • Public reprimand and censure for the university.
  • Four years of probation from June 15, 2017, through June 14, 2021.
  • A suspension from the first five ACC games of the 2017-18 season for the head coach. During the suspension, the head coach may not be present in the arena where the games are played and have no contact with the student-athletes or members of his coaching staff. The head coach also may not participate in any activities including, but not limited to, team travel, practice, video study and team meetings.
  • A 10-year show-cause period for the former operations director from June 15, 2017, through June 14, 2027. During that period, any NCAA member school employing the former coach must restrict him from holding any athletically related duties and from having any contact with prospects and their families.
  • A one-year show-cause order for the former program assistant from June 15, 2017, through June 14, 2018. During that period, any NCAA member school employing him can schedule an appearance before a panel of the COI to determine whether he should be subject to show-cause provisions.
  • A vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014. The university will provide a written report containing the games impacted to the NCAA media coordination and statistics staff within 45 days of the public decision release.
  • A reduction in men’s basketball scholarships by two during the 2016-17 year (self-imposed by the university). Additionally, the university must reduce men’s basketball scholarships by four over the probation period. The university may take the reductions during any year of that period.
  • A prohibition of men’s basketball coaching travel during the April 2016 recruiting period, which resulted in a reduction of men’s basketball recruiting opportunities by 30 (self-imposed by the university).
  • A reduction of recruiting travel during the July 2016 recruiting period by six days (self-imposed by the university).
  • A reduction in the number of men’s basketball official visits to a total of 10 during the 2015-16 year. Additionally, the university will have no more than a total of 16 visits during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 years (self-imposed by the university).
  • During the probation period, men’s basketball prospects on unofficial visits may not stay overnight in any campus dorms or school-owned property.
  • A disassociation of the former operations director (self-imposed by the university). The public decision describes the details of his disassociation.
  • A $5,000 fine (self-imposed by the university). The university must also return to the NCAA the money received through conference revenue sharing for its appearances in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships. Future revenue distributions that are scheduled to be provided to the university from those tournaments also must be withheld by the conference and forfeited to the NCAA.
  • A postseason ban for the men’s basketball team for the 2015-16 season (self-imposed by the university).

Members of the Committee on Infractions are drawn from NCAA membership and members of the public. The members of the panel who reviewed this case are William Bock III, attorney in private practice; Carol Cartwright, chief hearing officer for the panel and president emeritus at Kent State and Bowling Green; Greg Christopher, athletics director at Xavier; Thomas Hill, senior policy advisor to the president of Iowa State; Stephen A. Madva, attorney in private practice; Joseph D. Novak, former head football coach at Northern Illinois; and Larry Parkinson, director of enforcement for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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LouisvilleKY sees Impressive Year for its Cardinals Tuesday, Jun 13 2017 

 

Louisville, KY., – The University of Louisville’s appearance in the College World Series will cap off a terrific 2016-17 season for the Cardinals. Lofty team finishes, impressive individual achievements and nationally recognized academic success have highlighted UofL’s extremely productive academic year.

 

18 NCAA PARTCIPANTS — Eighteen UofL sports – 10 men’s and eight women’s – had teams or individuals participate in NCAA postseason competition in 2016-17.  Baseball has won a school-record 52 games and has advanced to its fourth College World Series, including its third in the last five years.  UofL’s men’s soccer team was the No. 4 overall seed in the NCAA Championship and advanced to the Elite Eight. UofL’s women’s cross country advanced to the NCAA Championship for the first time in school history.  Louisville’s women’s swimming team finished sixth in the nation with Mallory Comerford sharing the 200-free NCAA championship with Katie Ledecky.  The Cardinals’ men’s swimming team finished 11th in the NCAA Championship.

university of louisville logo

UofL’s women’s basketball team reached the NCAA Sweet 16, their its in the last seven years.  UofL’s men’s basketball team made its 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance and is one of just four schools that have 15 straight 20-win seasons.  The Cardinals had individuals compete in the NCAA indoor and outdoor men’s and women’s track and field competition, led by Edwin Kibichiy’s national championship in the 3,000 meter steeplechase as the men finished 22nd in the nation in the outdoor meet. Football competed in the New Year’s Eve Citrus Bowl.  The Cards’ field hockey, men’s tennis and women’s lacrosse teams competed in the NCAA Tournament.  UofL’s women’s golf team participated in the NCAA regional and the Cardinals had individuals compete in men’s tennis, men’s golf and men’s cross country, with Kibichiy finishing eighth in the NCAA Cross Country Championship.

 

A DOZEN RANKED TEAMS – A dozen sports were ranked among the nation’s top 25 during the year, including 10 that were among the national leaders in their respective final rankings.  Louisville was one of only three schools in the nation with its football and men’s and women’s basketball programs all ranked among the Associated Press’ final top 25 teams.  Positioned among the nationally ranked teams were baseball (sixth USA Today; in progress), men’s basketball (10th AP, 14th USA Today), women’s basketball, (13th AP, 12th USA Today), football (21st AP, 22nd USA Today), women’s lacrosse (19, US, Lacrosse, 20th IWLCA), men’s soccer (sixth NSCAA), field hockey (ninth NFHCA), men’s swimming (eighth CSCAA), women’s swimming (11th CSCAA), and men’s track and field (22nd NCAA).  Women’s rowing and women’s soccer also achieved a top 25 national ranking at some point through their season.

 

UNIQUE INDIVIDUAL HONORS – Four Cardinals reached the pinnacle of their sports this season and earned lofty personal recognition.  Quarterback Lamar Jackson became the youngest winner of the Heisman Trophy – college football’s highest honor — while amassing a school-record 1,571 yards rushing, 5,114 yards of total offense, 21 rushing touchdowns and 30 TDs through the air.  Jackson also became the first Cardinal to earn AP, Walter Camp and Maxwell player of the year honors. Pitcher/first baseman Brendan McKay, who is the Cardinals’ career strikeout leader and a potent cleanup hitter, has already won national player of the year awards from Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.  It is the first time in history that one university has featured both the Heisman Trophy winner and the Baseball America Player of the Year in the same academic year.

 

Two Cardinals won individual NCAA titles.  ACC Swimmer of the Year Mallory Comerford, who holds eight UofL records, tied for the NCAA Championship in the 200 meter freestyle with Olympic champion Katie Ledecky.  The 2016 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for Men’s Cross Country, senior distance runner Edwin Kibichiy won the NCAA outdoor title in the 3,000 meter steeplechase.

 

APR EXCELLENCE — Six University of Louisville athletic teams — men’s and women’s basketball, football, men’s and women’s golf and men’s tennis – received NCAA Public Recognition Awards for ranking among the top 10 percent nationally in Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores for the most recent four-year period from 2012-16, including five teams with perfect scores.  Cardinal athletic teams posted a collective 3.18 GPA during the 2016-17 academic year, with 19 of 23 teams achieving a 3.0 or better for the 2017 spring semester.

 

COMMUNITY SERVICE LEADERS — UofL student-athletes amassed over 11,000 service hours through its CardsCARE community outreach program during the 2016-17 year, a total which ranked among the top five in the nation in the NCAA Team Works Challenge.

papa johns cardinal stadium cards

FACILITY EXPANSION – While already possessing an array of playing venues that are among the finest in the nation, UofL is in the midst of one expansion project and is planning another.  On the heels of completing the new 40,000-square-foot Thorntons Academic Center of Excellence, the Cardinals broke ground on the expansion of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.  Included in the Coming Full Circle project that will enclose the north end zone are another 10,000 seats that include 1,000 club seats, 70 premium boxes, and 12 exclusive field level suites and the Pepsi Club, a premium low-level club.  The football complex will undergo dramatic changes doubling the size of the team’s weight room and conditioning center, creating space for team workouts, a players lounge, improvements for coaches’ offices and the team locker room, and expansive theatre-style meeting areas.  UofL is also in the early stages of a major expansion project for Jim Patterson Stadium, home of the Omaha-bound Cardinals’ baseball team.

 

NATIONAL PROMINENCE — Louisville ranks 19th in the nation in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup national all-sports standings through all winter sports.  The Cardinals are one of four ACC universities among the top 20 in the nation and one of seven ACC schools in the top 35.  UofL has finished among the upper half of the league in each of its initial three years in the ACC.

 

This information may be found online at this link:  http://uofl.me/2s3ARIA

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Cards to Get Purdue in Big Ten/ACC Challenge Thursday, Jun 8 2017 

from U of L

The University of Louisville men’s basketball team will face Purdue for the second straight year in the 2017 Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.  Dates, times and television will be announced later.

Ranked 15th nationally in the final Associated Press and USA Today polls last season, Purdue achieved a 27-8 record, won its 23rd Big Ten regular-season championship and reached the NCAA Tournament where it fell to Kansas in the Midwest Region semifinal.  Six of its top seven scorers return, led by 6-8 senior forward Vincent Edwards (12.6 ppg, 4.9 apg), 7-2 senior center Isaac Haas (12.6 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 6-0 sophomore guard Carsen Edwards (10. ppg).

The teams met in last year’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge when Louisville prevailed over then No. 15 Purdue 71-64 in the KFC Yum Center (12–30-16) as Ray Spalding (11 points, nine rebounds) and Mangok Mathiang (11 points, eight rebounds) led a balanced UofL effort.  Louisville has won two of its three previous challenge events since joining the ACC.  The Cardinals fell 71-67 at No. 3 Michigan State in 2014 and beat No. 14 Ohio State 64-55 in Louisville in 2015.

Purdue has an 11-6 all-time series advantage over Louisville, winning three of the last four matchups. The Cardinals last visited West Lafayette in 1987, falling 88-73 to the Boilermakers (1-18-87).

Louisville has received attention among many early top 25 rankings for next season.  Last season, the Cardinals posted a 25-9 record, tied for second in the ACC and earned a No. 10 ranking in the final Associated Press poll.  UofL is one of just four teams that have won 20 or more games in each of the last 15 seasons.  The Cardinals have received an Academic Performance Rate Public Recognition Award each of the last five years, including posting a perfect score the last four years.

The matchups for the 19th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, to be played in late November, the reigning NCAA national champions, is among the participants in this year’s event. The Challenge matches all 14 Big Ten teams against all but one ACC member. Dates, network assignments and tip times will be announced at a later date.  ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 14 games of the event, with all games also available to stream via the ESPN app.

Seven teams are ranked in Myron Metcalf’s ESPN.com way-too-early preseason top 25 poll: No. 3 Michigan State, No. 5 Duke, No. 7 North Carolina, No. 10 Louisville, No. 12 Miami, No. 20 Northwestern and No. 21 Notre Dame.  Fifteen teams competed in the 2017 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including nine from the ACC: NCAA champion North Carolina; Sweet 16 teams Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, as well as early-round participants Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

2017 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule

Northwestern at Georgia Tech

Duke at Indiana

Notre Dame at Michigan State

Miami at Minnesota

Penn State at NC State

Boston College at Nebraska

Michigan at North Carolina

Clemson at Ohio State

Louisville at Purdue

Florida State at Rutgers

Maryland at Syracuse

Wisconsin at Virginia

Iowa at Virginia Tech

Illinois at Wake Forest

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BikeShare Program Launches in Old Louisville, Downtown, Nulu Thursday, May 25 2017 

Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville’s bike share program, called LouVelo, is now live and ready for use.

LouVelo is owned by the city, which has contracted with CycleHop, a leading operator of major municipal bike share programs throughout North America, to run the program. The bicycles and station equipment are provided by PBSC, North America’s largest provider of bike share equipment. The LouVelo network will begin with 305 bikes positioned at 27 stations in downtown, Old Louisville, NuLu, and points in between.

“Whether you’re a student riding the educational corridor from Spalding and Simmons College, a downtown worker trying to get to and from meetings, or a visitor taking in the sights, LouVelo is here for you,” said the Mayor. “Bike share ties together our goals for quality of life, multi-modal transportation, sustainability and wellness, along with talent attraction and retention.”

The service makes bicycles available for short-term use. The bikes can be picked up at one station and returned to any other station in the system, which makes it easy for people looking to get from one location to another during the work or school day without driving a car, and those riding for leisure, recreation or just touring the city.

LouVelo sponsors include Computershare, Norton Healthcare, JP Morgan Chase & Co., UPS, Main & Clay, Genscape Inc., The Brown Hotel, KentuckyOne Health, Atria Senior Living, and The Eye Care Institute.

“These great community partners know that quality of life is a critical factor in maintaining and growing a talented workforce in Louisville,” Fischer said. “LouVelo is one of the many things we’re doing to enhance quality of life in our city.”

“Computershare is pleased to be a sponsor of LouVelo. As a company we’re committed to environmental sustainability and promoting a healthy lifestyle,” said Frank Madonna, executive vice president of operations at Computershare. “We’re happy to partner with the city of Louisville in providing tools that improve the quality of life for its residents.”

Bike sharing is part of the Move Louisville long-term multimodal transportation plan, which calls for accommodating all users of the city’s transportation system — pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and public transit riders — in the best ways possible. It’s also a great way for people to reduce their carbon footprints and increase wellness while serving the routine objective of getting from one place to another. LouVelo is another way that Louisville is growing its network of cycling facilities, such as bike lanes, that are making it easier and safer to get around the city on two wheels.

“Providing fun, healthy and sustainable transportation alternatives is at the core of CycleHop’s mission.” Said Dave Nelson, COO of CycleHop. “We are honored and proud to bring a new mode of public transportation to Louisville. With a range of plans to meet the needs of Louisville residents and visitors, LouVelo is a great new way to get around town that is as enjoyable as it is convenient.”

CycleHop is currently offering a $99 Founding Member plan that includes an unlimited number of 60-minute rides for a whole year. A station map and signup details are available at www.louvelo.com.

“We are very pleased to be working with PBSC a national leader in bike share technology and with the great support of Louisville Metro and our wonderful sponsors and community partners, we are able to make bike share in Louisville a reality,” said Nelson.

“We take pride in offering highly innovative solutions that contribute to improving urban mobility in cities around the world. We are very excited to provide Louisville with 305 Iconic bikes and 27 stations, the perfect design for Louisville’s residents,” said Gian-Carlo Crivello, Client Relationship Officer of PBSC Urban Solutions.

LouVelo has partnered with Transit to make it easier and faster for users to find stations, buy passes, and unlock bikes with their phones. Transit is already quite popular in Louisville with tens of thousands of users across the city. It was also recently endorsed by TARC as their recommended app for bus riders.

“Transit shows you all your nearby options in one place: you can watch your next bus approaching in real-time, check the ETA for the closest Uber, and now find and unlock nearby bikes,” says Transit’s Chief Operating Officer, Jake Sion. “We are very excited for Louisville to become the 9th city where you can buy bike-share passes through our app.” Transit is available for iOS and Android (https://transitapp.com/).

Another 15 stations are already under consideration to expand the network. The city is working with the University of Louisville with an aim to place multiple stations on the school’s Belknap campus by fall 2017. Plans for expansion into other neighborhoods, such as Russell and the Highlands, are also being developed.

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Mornings at Churchill with the Contenders and Wagner’s Thursday, May 4 2017 

The magic of Derby Week is best exemplified in the pre-dawn mist any morning on the backside at Churchill Downs. Walk in from Longfield, and you see the effort it takes to stage the sport’s premier event.

Photo by Bill Brymer

Photo by Bill Brymer

The beautiful beasts you encounter in the few hundred yards walking are bigger than you’d expect. They’re lively, too, heads bobbing through their stables, neighs heard from near and far away. You see exercise riders atop their steeds, guiding the stars of the show back and forth to the racing surface. Grooms pace around barns leading thoroughbreds by their bridles. You see the famous names on the barn walls — Lukas, Whiting, Stewart — and trainers who think that maybe, just maybe, this will be their year.

For horses, the morning is the opportunity to get out on the track, enjoy a bath, and maybe get a carrot or peppermint, and enjoy the attention. As the sun rises, more horses put in their morning workouts, and the crowd grows along radio row. TV crews have their spots along the rail, and there are several radio broadcasts going on simultaneously. Those of us fortunate enough to have media credentials dip inside for a doughnut. We saw Derby princesses here, and the captains of the steamboats that will race later in the day on the Ohio.

Once the sun’s up, you start spotting local celebrities and politicians, all smiles because the most challenging question is this one — who do you like in the Derby? On the track, suddenly, the pink and green saddlecloths appear, signaling the entrance of Derby and Oaks contenders. You squeeze in along the rail to see them up close, hoping to remember the moment you first saw the eventual champion.

Still, it’s quiet enough that you can hear the workouts, horses breathing heavily, shoes beating on the turf.

Breakfast at Wagner's

Breakfast at Wagner’s

The perfect Derby Week morning isn’t complete without a trip to Wagner’s Pharmacy across the street. The smart move is to arrive early (they open at 7, and at 6 on Friday and Saturday) so you don’t have to wait. On Wednesday, a WAVE-TV crew was there, with reporter Kayla Vanover standing behind the counter doing the umpteenth feature on the appeal of the place. It’s obvious the staff is used to this, working around the reporter at the counter in order to get orders to tables.

It’s not fancy — you’ll be eating off styrofoam plates with plastic forks, while sitting on chairs that may have been here when they opened in 1922. Don’t ask for an omelette – the menu is a limited choice of bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits, toast and gravy. It’s $9.99 for a breakfast plate, but the portions are generous, and filling.

WAVEWagner

TV stations have been reporting on the ambiance at Wagner’s for years.

And other than the chance you’ll spot D. Wayne Lukas, Bob Baffert or some other racing luminary, the attraction here is the photos on the walls, celebrating Derby winners through the decades. If you are celebrity stalking, your waitress will be more than happy to tell you who’s been in recently.

In back, where you have to go to pay, you are reminded this is a pharmacy, with a selection of over-the-counter remedies. There’s also Derby t-shirts, umbrellas and souvenirs.

It’s the only place I’ve seen Bigeloil for sale. It’s a liniment that soothes sore muscles in horses. I remember that my Dad, a pari-mutuel clerk, always had some in the cabinet at home for his own muscle relief.

This part of the Derby experience does not involve fancy hats or exquisite cuisine, and you better wear comfortable shoes that are likely to get mud on them. There’s no ticket to get in, and if you get there early enough you can park free nearby. And the best thing about it may be that nothing about it ever changes.

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Here’s another round-up of LouisvilleKY’s Kentucky Derby Festival’s latest news Monday, Apr 17 2017 

FUTURE CAT, CARDS AND HOOSIERS STAND OUT AT BASKETBALL CLASSIC

Louisville, KY. –  A crowd of 4,812 was on hand Saturday night at Freedom Hall as Team Lightning defeated Team Thunder 122-109 in the 44th Annual Kentucky Derby Festival Basketball Classic presented by Papa John’s. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (University of Kentucky) was named Team Lightning MVP. WKU signee Taveion Hollingsworth was named MVP of Team Thunder. Xavier signee Naji Marshall was named the “Fan Favorite” in online voting by fans and spectators at the game.
This year’s game featured top rated recruits from the nation’s top college basketball programs, including University of Louisville signees Malik Williams, Darius Perry, Lance Thomas and Jordan Nwora; UK signee Shai Gilgeous-Alexander; and IU signees Justin Smith and Aljami Durham. At halftime, it was announced that the team of Chuma Okeke (Auburn signee) and Taveion Hollingsworth (Western Kentucky University signee) won Friday night’s 2-on-2 finals at Indiana University Southeast Activities Building during the Horseshoe Foundation Derby Festival Night of the Future Stars.
“Tonight’s crowd got a sneak peek at players who will become household names among basketball fans over the next few years,” said Derby Festival President and CEO Mike Berry. “It was another great game with outstanding talent.”
The Finals for these competitions were held at halftime of tonight’s game.
3 POINT SHOOTING CONTEST
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Attending: University of Kentucky
SLAM DUNK CONTEST
Savion Flagg
Attending: Texas A&M
First held in 1973, the Derby Festival Basketball Classic is the oldest high school all-star game in the nation. The game has featured such players as Jamal Mashburn, Rex Chapman, Moses Malone, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, Eric Bledsoe, Deron Williams and Nolan Smith, among many others.
The Basketball Classic is presented by Papa John’s, with Contributing Sponsor Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.  Media Sponsors are 99.7 DJX, B96.5 FM, and SLAM Magazine. Supporting Sponsor: Dick’s Sporting Goods. The game was broadcast on WDRB.
kdf basketball stats
 
The Derby Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation.  It entertains more than 1.5 million people annually. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.
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STOCK YARDS BANK AND DERBY FESTIVAL READY TO GIVE AWAY $1 MILLION HOLE-IN-ONE GOLF CONTEST

OPENS THURSDAY

 

April 17, 2017. Louisville, KY.  – It’s time to take your shot at $1 million! The Stock Yards Bank Kentucky Derby Festival $1 Million Dollar Hole-In-One Golf Contest opens this Thursday, April 20, and runs through Sunday, April 30. The contest will take place at the Seneca Golf Course Driving Range off Pee Wee Reese Road. There will be 10 days of preliminary qualifying rounds and a Semi-final Round on Sunday, April 30.

 

The preliminary competition is open 10 AM to 8:30 PM every day from April 20 – April 30, except for April 22, when it will be closed for Thunder Over Louisville. The last day for preliminary competition is Sunday, April 30, from 10 AM to 5 PM, and then the Semi-Final round begins at 6 PM.  Competitors and spectators can relax in the refreshment tent located adjacent to the tee area.

 

During the preliminary rounds the 10 closest shots to the hole each day will advance to the Semi-final round, while hole-in-one shots, will advance directly to the Finals.  It’s $1 per shot daily, with 2 shots for $1 specials on the following days:

 

  • Senior Days (62+):  Weekdays 10 AM – 2 PM
  • Junior Day (under 18): April 23
  • First Responders & Veterans Day: April 24
  • Ladies Day:  April 25

 

There are a total of 56 positions in the Finals, which include all daily hole-in-one qualifiers, four female qualifiers from Ladies’ Day, plus two qualifiers under the age of 18 from Junior Day advance as well.  The Finals will be held on Tuesday, May 2, at 6 PM at Seneca Golf Course Hole #8. If no hole in one is awarded during the Grand Prize round, the participant coming closest to the hole during the Finals will receive a $5,000 first prize.

KDF Hole in One

Stock Yards Bank is the title sponsor of the event. Contributing Sponsor is Metro Parks & Recreation, joining Media Sponsors WLKY TV, 840 WHAS and Insider Louisville

 

Since 1956, the Derby Festival has worked to bring the community together in celebration. The Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.


TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO REGISTER FOR DERBY FESTIVAL ROAD RACES

Louisville, KY. – If you plan to run the Derby Festival’s Marathon or miniMarathon, but haven’t registered yet, your time is running out!  Registration for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon Presented by Walmart and Humana will close at midnight on Thursday, April 20. There will be no late registration. The registration fees are $95 for the miniMarathon and $105 for the Marathon. Runners can register online at DerbyFestivalMarathon.com.

For runners who don’t want to go the distance of the mini or full Marathon, they can recruit friends and register as a team. In conjunction with the 2017 Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon, the Marathon Team Relay option is again being offered. The Team Relay registration fee is $325. Teams can consist of up to 5 runners and have as few as 3 competing members. Relay Teams will run the same course as the Marathon, which has been divided into 5 separate legs consisting of two 5k, two 10k, and a 12.2k.

The Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon is still the largest annual day of road racing in Kentucky. 2017 races are set for Saturday, April 29, and will again be capped at 18,000 runners. Both races will start simultaneously at 7:30 am on Main Street near Slugger Field and will finish at Preston and Witherspoon streets.

derby marathon

Walmart and Humana are Co-Presenting Sponsors of the Marathon and miniMarathon. The Official Race Medical Partner is Norton Sports Health and Contributing Sponsors are BB&T, Churchill Downs, Louisville Water Company, Powerade, and The Courier-Journal. Official Bourbon: Jim Beam®. Official Hotel: The Galt House. Official Pace Car: John Jones Auto Group.

The Derby Festival is an independent community organization supported by 4,000 volunteers, 400 businesses and civic groups, Pegasus Pin sponsorships and event participation.  It entertains more than 1.5 million people annually. This involvement has made the Festival the largest single attended event in Kentucky and one of the leading community celebrations in the world.

 

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LouisvilleKy’s soccer team to get new Butchertown stadium Wednesday, Apr 12 2017 

Story and photos from www.louisvillecityfc.com

Louisville, Ky., – Three years ago, feeling Louisville needed professional sports to attract and retain talented young people in our community, 41 local residents launched a soccer club around which our town could rally. Aptly named Louisville City FC, the team has quickly built a reputation for winning and drawing some of the United Soccer League’s largest crowds.

A study conducted last year by the City of Louisville determined a soccer-specific stadium is needed to maintain and grow the game here. Now, after months of work with various property owners, Louisville City FC is a step closer to making that a reality.

Tracts of land are under option in the Butchertown Neighborhood, where the club plans to transform 40 acres into a 10,000-seat, soccer-specific stadium and adjacent development including space for offices, hotels and retail.

LouisvilleFC soccer stadium

“Since receiving the results of the study, our board has explored a number of potential stadium locations, but none measured up to this site as a longterm home for Louisville City FC,” said club chairman John Neace. “We’re ready to solidify the future of LouCity, an important community asset.”

Through public-private partnership, LouCity intends to continue the revitalization of downtown Louisville and surrounding areas in space occupied by the former Challenger Lifts headquarters, an above-ground oil tank facility, a storage space and auto salvage lot.

A 10,000-seat soccer-specific stadium would open in 2020 on a site that is, as with the club, a winner. It’s situated next to Interstates 64 and 71, blocks from Main Street; a close walk from the Big Four Bridge; and within view of the downtown Louisville skyline.

LouisvilleFC soccer stadium

LouCity is working with city government, Metro Council members and state economic development officials to make the project a reality. Construction of a stadium and nearby development, including office and retail space, would create jobs, drive tax revenues and spur economic growth beyond soccer.

“The concept of a master development agreement gives us the ability to build a stadium and commercial value around it that can assist in funding the stadium,” said LouCity board member Mike Mountjoy. “We want to thank Mayor Greg Fischer and his team for working side by side with us in planning this project.”

LouCity, which for now plays at Louisville Slugger Field, competes in the United Soccer League, sanctioned Division II in the United States below only Major League Soccer. The club has made back-to-back runs to the conference finals after starting play in 2015.

The USL has mandated that its members all move into soccer-specific stadiums by 2020. Additionally, LouCity pays rental fees at Slugger Field, which it splits with the Louisville Bats baseball team, as well as the cost of converting the field for soccer. Sponsorship opportunities are limited, and concession revenue does not go to the soccer club.

LouisvilleFC soccer stadium

LouCity commissioned global architecture firm HOK for stadium design of a facility expandable to 20,000 seats should the opportunity to move to Major League Soccer present itself. Initial renderings show seating within close vicinity of the pitch, a suite level and amenities including roofs and multiple video boards.

“I want to thank our owners for all of their work toward getting us into a home of our own,” said LouCity coach James O’Connor. “It’s vital we play on a proper pitch, and I know a soccer-specific stadium is something our fans deserve. It’s an exciting time to be a part of Louisville City FC.”

Last year, an average of 7,218 fans attended LouCity’s home games. Off to an unbeaten start, the club’s next game is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Slugger Field. Tickets are available by calling (502) 384-8799, emailing tickets@louisvillecityfc.com or online at LouisvilleCityFC.com/tickets. Current season ticket holders will receive seating priority in the new stadium.

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