U of L College of Business to award research grants Thursday, Sep 19 2019 

By Jessica Kisling —

The University of Louisville College of Business will be giving five grants of $5,000 to further research and develop instructional tools to be used in the community.

The Project on Ethical Leadership Excellence started in 2018 with the original donation of $100,000 by Vince Tyra, the director of athletics at U of L. It is projected to last for 20 years. 

Since then, Adidas and the the university’s athletic department have agreed to donate $1,000,000 over the span of a decade to further aid the program. The Sam and Bonnie Rechter Family Trust donated the funds for these grants. 

Through this project the College of Business and athletic department hope to encourage more ethical leadership and research. Associate professor of management and co-head of the project Ryan Quinn said, “Positive and ethical leadership is leadership in which people are not just refraining from doing harm to the world, but actually making it better, and making their lives more meaningful in the process.”  

The tools developed will affect the ethical training in the athletic department, and the research addresses the moral and positive psychology that goes into athletics at U of L. 

Both Quinn and the university want this project, and these grants in particular, to help create a reputation for U of L and the College of Business as being about positive and ethical leadership. The training and research developed will eventually be shared with other colleges in the ACC, as well as other nonprofit and corporate arenas.

The project is open to both students of the university and the community. Applications are due on Oct. 15 and must include a brief explanation of the proposal along with a timeline and why it will promote ethical leadership. All proposals should be emailed to Quinn. The recipients of the grants will be announced on Nov. 15 and will begin on Jan. 1, 2020. 

Of the five recipients chosen, two will be for research and three for the tools development. More information about the application process can be found on the U of L School of Business’s website, and any questions can be directed to Quinn at ryan.quinn@louisville.edu.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L and Rick Pitino reach settlement Wednesday, Sep 18 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville Athletic Association can finally close the Rick Pitino chapter after almost two years in court.

“It’s a terrific day to get this behind us, and I’m sure the other side feels the same,” said Vince Tyra, U of L athletic director.

The ULAA board of trustees approved a settlement between the two parties on Sept. 18. The settlement comes eight days after both sides met for nine hours at the Louisville federal courthouse discussing the matter.

As part of the settlement Pitino will receive no money from U of L, but his personnel file will be changed to reflect that his employment ended in resignation. Both sides have agreed to dismiss their claims they filed against each other back in 2017.

U of L and Pitino issued a joint statement accompanying the announcement:

“For 17 years, Coach Pitino ran a program that combined excellence on the court with a commitment to the program’s student athletes, their academic achievement, and their futures in and out of basketball. Nevertheless, there were NCAA infractions during his term which led to serious consequences for the University. Although these infractions may not have occurred at Coach Pitino’s direction or with his knowledge, the problems leading to the NCAA infractions happened under his leadership. We thank Coach Pitino for his years of service to the University of Louisville basketball program and wish him well.”

U of L fired Pitino on Oct. 16, 2017, for just cause, negative press, contract violations and lack of supervision and compliance. This came shortly after Pitino and his staff were involved in a national recruiting scandal that is still being investigated by NCAA.

Pitino filed his lawsuit on Nov. 30, 2017, seeking almost $40 million from the university. He cited that he was still owed the salary remaining on his contract that was set to expire in June 2026 and that U of L had no right to fire him because he was unaware of the escort scandal that happened in 2013.

This argument failed to hold up with NCAA’s findings that Pitino failed to monitor his program, thus he was in violation of his 2015 contract.

On Dec. 13, 2017, U of L countersued Pitino for monetary damages incurring from the vacation of NCAA games, including the 2013 Final Four and National Championship appearances. U of L was seeking to receive any bonuses or compensation wrongly paid to Pitino for his NCAA appearances.

Pitino made six NCAA Elite Eight and three Final Four appearances in his 17 seasons with U of L. After the escort scandal U of L was forced to vacate 123 wins along with their 2012 Final Four and 2013 National Championship banners.

“Rick accomplished a lot here as head coach and our record books do show that,” Tyra said. “And although there will be asterisks there at times, he’s done quite a bit. So I don’t know if I would say we’ve washed our hands of Rick Pitino.”

Tyra said that this settlement has no impact on the NCAA’s current investigation with the university.

U of L and Pitino ultimately came to this agreement to avoid expenses and uncertainty litigation. In their agreement it states that neither party admits to liability or unlawful conduct during this litigation.

“We were solid in our stance from the beginning that this was zero liability for us,” Tyra said. “I think it was a terrific outcome for the university.”

This settlement will not be official until the federal judge overseeing the case approves the terms of it.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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PREVIEW: Men’s soccer 2019 Friday, Aug 30 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

Louisville men’s soccer is entering the 2019 season with high expectations. In a recent poll the Cardinals were ranked No. 14 in the nation, with past success and new head coach John Michael Hayden building anticipation.

Last year Louisville went 11-5-3 for the season, losing to high caliber teams such as No. 1 ranked Wake Forest 2-1 in overtime.

The Cards have had a great amount of success under the previous head coach Ken Lolla, turning the team into a major competitor in ACC play. Lolla lead the team to a national runner up title, four elite eight appearances and eight NCAA tournament sightings.

Lolla originally announced leaving the Cardinals last year, noting he wanted new challenges and felt accomplished with how he built the team.

Hayden was Lolla’s assistant coach for four seasons, giving him knowledge of the program’s culture. He also was assistant coach during the four elite eight appearances.

Athletic Director Vince Tyra said, “He’s a talented coach and a relentless recruiter who enjoys teaching an attacking style that will foster ongoing success.”

Talent on the 2019 roster also builds anticipation as Junior Emil Elveroth is on the MAC Hermann trophy watch list, known as the most prestigious award in college soccer. Last season he contributed 11 goals and five assists.

Louisville’s first regular season game will be against Cleveland State on Aug. 30 at 7:30 home at Lynn Stadium.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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Norton will be U of L sports new healthcare provider Saturday, Aug 24 2019 

By Matthew Keck–

The University of Louisville athletic department announced that Norton Healthcare will be their official healthcare provider on Aug. 22. Norton Sports Health will oversee the medical care for all 23 sports teams at U of L.

Norton Healthcare CEO Russ Cox said, “We think with having over 1,000 providers we’re going to be able to meet every need, any student-athlete at the University of Louisville may have.”

Cox noted that Norton’s experience with Jefferson County Public Schools helped this partnership happen.

The medical support provided by Norton includes conducting all sports physicals and access to Norton Sports Health medical team. Norton is also offering mental health services, including access to counseling and sports performance specialists.

Steven T. Hester, system chief medical officer of Norton Healthcare, said that one of their main focuses will be how they work with the athletes. “More than ever we find that student-athletes continued to be challenged with not just the performance side of things but all the things that go along with just being a student,” said Hester.

Vince Tyra, U of L athletic director, said that they started this partnership with Norton back in January but the partnership was not formalized until August. Tyra said head coaches have been working with the physicians and staff throughout the spring seasons.

Tyra emphasized the importance around the mental health care students will receive, stating it is one of the fastest growing concerns in the NCAA.

In addition to the medical care, Norton is providing funding for athletic trainers, campus training rooms and new imaging equipment. Athletes will have access to Norton eCare, which allows them to to speak with a nurse practitioner via computer or mobile device.

This change comes after U of L ended their 20-year deal with KentuckyOne Health when it expired last year.

There was no disclosed dollar amount. Tyra said that the deal was more about services and marketing assets. The current deal with Norton is three years with options for two additional three-year extensions.

Tyra said, “I just want to make sure their mind and body is taken care of while they’re here.”

Matthew Keck // The Louisville Cardinal

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U of L purchases iconic Cardinal Stadium cabooses Thursday, Aug 22 2019 

By Matthew Keck —

The University of Louisville Athletic Association announced they bought the cabooses that reside at Cardinal Stadium Aug. 14.

U of L will ultimately pay $1.5 million to Cabooses Express to keep the cabooses. The deal was broken down so the University of Louisville Athletic Association is paying $660,000 initially, then $140,000 for the next six years.

U of L Athletic Director Vince Tyra said it was never the universities intention to lose the cabooses. “We wanted more control and risk management in place,” said Tyra.

U of L officially assumed control of the cabooses on Aug. 1, but the deal wasn’t official until Aug. 14. The university is still bound to its leases with the cabooses’ tenants though.

Tyra also said the university wanted to makes this purchase to ensure more protection. He said they plan to do away with overnight stays in the cabooses. Tyra also said that there will be a meeting with the tenants to discuss the new rules.

For the past 20 years Caboose Express had leased the cabooses to U of L. The ULAA decided in January they weren’t going to renew the lease.

Tyra said the cabooses will absolutely be there for the football team’s season opener.

Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville cuts longest tenured coach Rex Ecarma Monday, Aug 19 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest —

After spending 29 years with Louisville tennis, the University of Louisville has decided to part ways with head coach Rex Ecarma. The University wanted a change in leadership pending an independent investigation.

Current assistant coach Jakob Gustafsson will be interim head coach while Louisville searches for someone to fill the role.

Athletics Director Vince Tyra said that Ecarma’s removal is based on an independent investigation that pointed out his flaws.

“We have been clear about our roles and expectations in providing our student-athletes an outstanding experience while a part of our program,” said Tyra.

Kenny Klein, senior associate athletic director for media relations, said the investigation was independent from the athletic department and conducted by the U of L Office of Risk. The investigation included interviews from past and present student-athletes.

“While we have great respect for Rex’s accomplishments as a player and a coach at the University of Louisville, we have determined a change in leadership for our tennis program is needed in our men’s tennis program,” Tyra said.

Ecarma’s time with Cardinal tennis spans from 1991-2019, earning a 475-317-1 career record for the Cardinals. During his time coaching he accomplished five conference championships and 12 NCAA team regional appearances with six regional finals.

Ecarma graduated from Louisville before becoming coach, amassing 92 career doubles victories, second in the programs history.

The Tennis program will kick off their 2019 season in September.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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