University students have mixed feelings about athletics’ new dorm Tuesday, Nov 24 2020 

By Grace Welsh-

On Oct. 28, the University of Louisville’s athletics department announced a plan for a new residence hall project, partially catering to U of L student-athletes. 

The housing project will cost approximately $23.5 million, with $3.5 million donated from the U of L Athletics program. Because of this, Cardinal Athletics reserves naming rights for the residence hall, and in accordance with NCAA guidelines, it will reserve no more than 63 of 128 beds for student athletes, their managers and assistants.  

The athletic hall, located across from Floyd Street, will be connected to the Planet Fitness Kueber Center via a skywalk. The dorm is being developed by Buffalo Construction and Larry Gough, developer of Cardinal Towne, and will house men’s and women’s basketball players, women’s lacrosse players and university students who are not athletes. 

The hall will have a distinctive, first-class look. “It will be a trophy facility that exudes progress on campus as much as in athletics,” Vince Tyra, director of athletics, said.  

Its goal is to add aesthetic value to the surrounding area and attract “top-level students and student-athletes alike.”

U of L students have differing opinions on the announcement of the new project. Although some are positive, others are critical of the university’s decision. 

Maranda Crittendon, a junior majoring in equine business, feels strongly about the subject saying the money could have been used elsewhere.

“It’s obscene that they’re building that instead of doing actual improvements on mold-infested Threlkeld and Miller, not to mention the horrible situation that is parking,” Crittendon said.

Freshman business major Connor Ford, echoed a similar sentiment. Ford said the total occupancy number doesn’t make the multi-million dollar price tag worth it.

“I don’t know why they’re spending that much money on a dorm that’s only gonna house maybe 100+ kids,” he said. “It just doesn’t add up. Some of the older dorms are not in the best condition and they should have some priority, too.”

On the other hand, some students see the project in a more positive light. 

Saidey Fahey, a sophomore criminal justice major, said that the athletes deserve the new housing opportunity because of the money that they bring into the school.

Fahey argues that athletes “don’t get to do a lot of what a normal college student does,” with the pressure of maintaining good grades, good public image, practicing and working out for the sake of their department. 

“At the end of day, they just want to sleep in a comfy bed, somewhere they feel safe and comfortable,” Fahey said.

Senior computer information systems Phillip Wellmann said “it’s a good decision as it gives athletes a space to live with one another on a set schedule.”

He noted the convenience of the practice facilities being so close, saying it will give students an opportunity to hold one another accountable academically and training wise.

“On top of this,” Wellmann said. “It gives SPAD majors a place of work and hands on applications in their field of study.”

The residence hall, yet to be named, is predicted to be completed by the fall semester of 2022.

Photo Courtesy of U of L Athletics

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U of L plans to complete new dorm to house student-athletes in 2022 Monday, Nov 16 2020 

By Madelin Shelton — 

The University of Louisville has approved plans to build a new residency hall across Floyd Street from the Planet Fitness Kueber Center, an athletic training facility utilized by U of L student-athletes. The residency hall is expected to be completed by the start of the fall 2022 semester and will be available to both student-athletes and other U of L students.

The project, aptly named the Southeast Corridor Residential Hall project, is a partnership between U of L Campus Housing, U of L Athletics and a third-party developer consisting of Buffalo Construction and Larry Gough, who developed Cardinal Towne. The groundbreaking of the construction is expected to start in March of 2021 according to Vince Tyra, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Director of Athletics.

The property is currently being used for university parking.

The facility will comprise of 128 beds, of which no more than 50% will be occupied by student-athletes to meet NCAA guidelines. U of L Athletics will claim 63 beds for student-athletes and 10 beds for team managers and graduate assistants.

The project will cost an estimated $23.5 million, with $3.5 million coming from U of L Athletics through donor funds. U of L Athletics will retain the naming rights to the facility in exchange for their contribution. U of L Campus Housing will manage the facility and include a full-time live-in hall director and three resident assistants.

Members of the men’s and women’s basketball teams and the women’s lacrosse team will reside in the residency hall. The building will also house a Living Learning Community (LLC) comprised of sophomore and above Sports Administration majors.

U of L Athletics expects the residential hall to help their department with the recruitment and retention of top-level students and student-athletes. It will include an enclosed crosswalk over Floyd Street that will link the residence hall to the Kueber Center and will serve as a beautification effort for the Floyd Street area of campus.

“This will obviously be a first-class project, the renderings represent that. It’s really going to help in the recruitment of our Sports Administration program which is one of our fastest growing programs and is ranked number one in the country,” Tyra said.

Below are concept designs of the building once it is completed:

Photos Courtesy of  U of L Athletics

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U of L football postpones Virginia game as 10 players test positive for COVID-19 Saturday, Nov 7 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville football team has postponed their ACC matchup with Virginia till Nov. 14.

The Cardinals (2-5) canceled this week’s trip to take on the Cavaliers after ten U of L players tested positive according to Athletic Director Vince Tyra. Five additional players for Louisville are currently quarantining after contact tracing.

U of L showed resistance last week during their loss to Virginia Tech at home. Although the Cardinals were nine players down, they lost marginally by a single touchdown. “It makes it a lot more challenging because you want guys to feel comfortable in whatever spots that you move them to. Regardless if you move a safety down to the linebacker spot, or a linebacker down to a defensive end spot, they still have to feel comfortable. You do not want your guys to get in there and not get it done,” Louisville Head Coach Scott Satterfield said.

“We’re down to three scholarship defensive linemen. I know others have played with players out at different positions, but when you get into the trenches and there is a lot of contact there between the offensive and defensive linemen, that is certainly one situation that the league has its eye on,” Tyra said.

A postponement of Saturday’s game to Nov. 14 should give the Cardinals’ players who test positive enough time to rid themselves of the virus.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Five months later, social distancing still applies Tuesday, Aug 18 2020 

By Grace Welsh–

There’s no debating that the last five months of our lives have been full of uncertainty and confusion. We are living through events that no one alive has experienced before.

With the start of a new school year and students returning to campus, the temptation to socialize in big groups is strong. However, it is imperative that we limit these gatherings for the sake of our community. 

Earlier this month, an off-campus party was linked to 29 cases of COVID-19 in U of L athletes. Officials in the department have suspended workouts for men and women’s soccer, field hockey, and volleyball for the next week. They have also dismissed the three men’s soccer members that were responsible for organizing the party.

In a press release last Tuesday, U of L’s Athletic Director Vince Tyra said he was disappointed by the athletes actions. 

“It is clear that these student-athletes did not meet the code of conduct of the university or their team,” Tyra said. “Ignoring the safety protocols issued by federal, state and local officials, as well as the athletic department, is unacceptable and dangerous. Their history of actions are not in alignment with the values of this university and athletics department.” 

A majority of the 29 cases were asymptomatic, but the virus is not something to be messed with. 

The CDC reports that older individuals and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk for long-term respiratory, cardiovascular and kidney damage from the virus. So, while you may be fine if you contract the virus, others may not be. 

“Time and time again, it’s shown that transmission is ongoing before we have a grasp of the numbers,” said Erin Welsh, a candidate in disease ecology and host of This Podcast Will Kill You. “This is due to slow testing, transmission before symptoms, and the high numbers of asymptomatic individuals.” 

Because of the high rate of asymptomatic cases, it is impossible to tell who is infected and who is not without a test. Therefore, it is best to keep the parties to an absolute minimum. Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear highly encourages gatherings of no more than 10 people. 

A party with just one or two infected individuals can be deadly when the newly infected people go out in the community.

We don’t know how long it will take for things to return back to normal. Until then, it’s important that we do our part to exercise necessary health precautions. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask in public and stay at least six feet apart from others. 

We are all in this together.

Let’s all put in the effort to stay home so we can protect our community and slow the spread. While it is definitely tempting to socialize with everyone you missed over quarantine, that doesn’t mean the virus isn’t still a prevalent part of our lives.

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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The Galt House Hotel commits $3.5 million to U of L Athletics Tuesday, Jul 21 2020 

By Cole Emery —

The Al J. Schneider Company has committed $3.5 million to the University of Louisville’s Athletic fund. The Al J. Schneider Company was formed in Louisville in 1947 and owns many local hotels, the most iconic being the Galt House Hotel. 

The gift from the Schneider Company will be given to the university over the next 10 years. The funds will be funneled into an expansion and renovation of the Planet Fitness Kueber Center. The Kueber Center was built in 2007 and includes training facilities and offices on U of L’s campus for the basketball teams and lacrosse team. 

“The sponsorship agreement avails us the opportunity to experience the amazing renovation of the hotel rooms and its amenities going forward,” said U of L’s Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “The larger meeting space allows more supporters to experience some of our annual events for the first time. The Schneider family has been long time supporters of the university and we are very fortunate to forge this mutually beneficial partnership for years to come.”

In addition to the donation, special events for Cardinal Athletics, such as the annual Football Kickoff Luncheon and Basketball Tipoff Luncheons, will be staged in the newly renovated ballrooms, restaurants and public areas of the Galt House Hotel. 

“U of L Athletics is a centerpiece of our community, and this is a chance for us to be part of that excitement,” said Scott Shoenberger, president and CEO of the Al J. Schneider Company. “We are thrilled to be able to support another iconic Louisville institution in this way, and look forward to a long-standing, mutually beneficial partnership.”

The University of Louisville will recognize the donation by naming the football suite levels on the east and west sides of the Cardinal Stadium as The Galt House Hotel Suite Level. Signage throughout the stadium will identify the areas, as well as inclusion on the suite level tickets.

Photo Courtesy of Kenny Klein 

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Louisville men’s basketball stops operations after positive COVID-19 tests Wednesday, Jul 8 2020 

By John McCarthy —

University of Louisville men’s basketball activities have come to an abrupt halt after two members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19. U of L athletics has been testing student-athletes for COVID-19 regularly since May 29. U of L is not disclosing who tested positive within the organization.

This comes nearly two months after U of L reopened its doors to student-athletes for voluntary workouts. At this point, it is unknown if any other members of the men’s basketball organization have been exposed to those who tested positive.

“[Men’s] basketball is certainly a sport that is going to get a lot of attention. These two individuals exhibited signs and we were able to have them tested on Monday. Because we are part of the U of L health system we were able to get those results back quickly. Through quarantining and contact tracing we are able to make sure we have everyone covered in the program,” Athletic Director Vince Tyra said during a virtual press conference on July 7.

U of L men’s basketball has been following all CDC approved guidelines and regulations for involuntary workouts leading up to the incident. Proper quarantine guidelines will be in play for the members of the men’s basketball organization that were potentially exposed to the virus.

The possibility of positive tests has trickled into other sports as well. U of L football has continued to push back the start date of their season. The ACC’s original plan for the Cardinals to host North Carolina State on Sept. 2 is to be determined.

“You have to know that if you enter a season you are going to run into instances like we are running into now,” Tyra said. “There is a lot of monitoring going on to discuss these situations that campuses are individually having.”

Vince Tyra talked about the steps that would be taken if mid-season positive COVID-19 tests occur. “You have to be prepared. That is where you get into situations whether it is a no-contest or a forfeit. These are going to be things that we are dealing with for the first time,” Tyra said.

The 2020-2021 men’s basketball schedule has yet to be released.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville Basketball legend Wes Unseld dead at 74 Tuesday, Jun 2 2020 

By John McCarthy–

Wes Unseld, 74, passed away on May 2. Unseld was a former U of L basketball player and member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was a sight to see on the basketball court displaying unrivaled skills at the collegiate level and excelling in the NBA as well. Unseld’s number, 31, is one of only four numbers to be retired in the history of U of L basketball.

Unseld grew up in Louisville and attended Seneca High School. He played all of his collegiate years for the University of Louisville. He still holds the single-game scoring record for U of L with 45 points.

“Wes is one of my all-time favorite players. He was a local player who had great success at U of L,” University of Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra said. Unseld is one of only five Louisville Cardinal basketball players to collect over 1,000 rebounds in their career.

Unseld goes down in U of L basketball history as the 11th highest scoring player and 2nd on the U of L all-time rebounding rankings. His record with the Cardinals throughout his career is an impressive 60-22. Following an unforgettable career at U of L, Unseld was the second player selected in the 1968 NBA Draft. He played 13 years in the NBA and became only the second player ever to be named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. He was a five-time NBA All-Star and led the Bullets to an NBA title in 1978.

Unseld was welcomed into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1988 and was selected among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996 in honor of the NBA’s 50th anniversary.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L set to reopen some athletic facilities near end of May Friday, May 22 2020 

By John McCarthy —

The University of Louisville announced May 21 that they will open their doors for voluntary workouts. Beginning June 8 the Trager Center, Schnellenberger Football Complex and Planet Fitness Kueber Center will be utilized for workouts during the first phase of the university’s return to athletic training.

Facilities for student-athletes will be up and running, just in time for the online summer semester which begins June 2. This makes U of L the first school in the ACC to make this move for their athletics department.

During a press conference, U of L athletic director Vince Tyra spoke on behalf of the university regarding the reopening.

“We have worked very closely with our campus leadership, medical professionals and coaching staffs to prepare a comprehensive plan for a safe return to campus for our student-athletes to participate in voluntary activities,” Tyra said.

Tyra said the number of student-athletes that arrive on campus will be limited and divided into phases. 45 student-athletes–30 football players and 15 men’s and women’s basketball players– will arrive at campus beginning May 27. Testing for COVID-19 and physical examinations for those athletes will begin on June 3. They will be available to participate in voluntary workouts once they have passed the examinations.

This move toward normalcy by U of L comes nearly eleven weeks after all athletic competition was suspended on March 17 due to COVID-19.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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NCCA sends U of L a Notice of Allegations Monday, May 4 2020 

By Cole Emery–

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi informed the campus community in an email on May 4 that U of L has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA regarding the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 men’s basketball program. The notice came after a two-year long investigation by the NCAA enforcement staff.

Louisville was given four allegations against them, all regarding improper recruitment. They were given one Level I allegation and three Level II violations, two of the highest possible allegations a university can receive.

In her email, Bendapudi outlined the allegations as follows:

  • “A Level I allegation that an improper recruiting offer, and subsequent extra benefits to the family of an enrolled student athlete; and a recruiting inducement to a prospective student-athlete’s non-scholastic coach/trainer, were provided by certain individuals, purportedly identified and defined by the NCAA as “representatives of the university’s athletics interests,” none of whom had traditional connections to the University beyond their affiliation with Adidas or professional athlete management entities, as well as by a former assistant coach and a former associate head coach;
  • A Level II allegation of recruiting violations by the same two former men’s basketball coaching staff members in providing impermissible transportation and having impermissible contact in the context of recruitment-related activities; 
  • A Level II allegation that the institution failed to adequately monitor the recruitment of an incoming, high-profile student-athlete;
  • A Level II allegation that the former head men’s basketball coach did not satisfy his head coach responsibility when he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.”

Following Bendapudi’s email, she and Vince Tyra, U of L’s athletic director, held a press teleconference.

“Throughout the lengthy investigation and enforcement process, because we have nothing to hide, the university worked with the NCAA enforcement staff and shared discovery. However, we aggressively pushed back throughout the process to do all we could possibly do to limit the number and seriousness of the allegations received today,” Tyra said.

Since these are only allegations, U of L is preparing a full and comprehensive response and plans to submit the response within a 90-day period. In her email, Bendapudi said the university will take responsibility for the allegations supported by facts and evidence. 

“We will not hesitate — repeat, not hesitate — to push back on those allegations that we simply don’t believe are supported by facts, NCAA law or by precedent, “Bendapudi said during the conference. “What we have done together as a Cardinal family, to be a model of compliance, a model of ethical conduct. I truly believe that we have gone above and beyond any other institution.”

Since taking office in 2018, Bendapudi said the university has made more than a dozen changes, including a change in leadership with a new university president, new athletic director, new coach and new assistant coaches; new chains of reporting; a revision of the head coach contract to reflect NCAA compliance expectations; and the athletic department has enhanced its rules education and compliance monitoring for all staff and began an ethical leadership series required for all athletics staff.

“The university remains committed to a complete and transparent reform,” Bendapudi said in her email. “None of the men’s basketball staff members involved in the allegations are still representing the university and neither of the involved men’s basketball prospects referenced in the allegations ever represented U of L in athletic competition.” 

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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The ACC cancels athletic activities for the rest of 2019-20 academic year Thursday, Mar 19 2020 

By Cole Emery —

The ACC made the decision to cancel sporting activities for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year March 17. Previously, the ACC decided to suspend all athletic activities until further notice, but a unanimous decision was made in order to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our student-athletes as well as our fans, communities and the overall well-being of other during these uncharted time,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “We are particularly disappointed for our student-athletes and will continue to work with our membership to assess what is appropriate in the future.”

U of L’s Director of Athletics, Vince Tyra, addressed Cardinal fans March 16 and said, “We are in this business because we are driven to see results. We are competitors at heart, but right now that’s impossible to do. Our focus right now needs to be on how we can console, motivate and guide those around us – and to use this time to lay the critical groundwork for our next, best chapter. I am so proud of the student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans that call themselves Louisville Cardinals.”

“Our program is no stranger to adversity and rising to the next challenge is part of the Cardinals’ DNA,” Tyra said. “We will get through this together and I believe our best days are ahead of us.”

File Graphic // The Louisville Cardinal

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