—Eric Crawford writes that in her first pressure-filled moment as Louisville’s president, Neeli Bendapudi delivered.
—Tim Sullivan pens a similar column for the CJ.
—Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann has a really informative read on the claims made in the Hancock v. NCAA lawsuit, how the NCAA will likely respond, and what’s at stake for the organization.
THE STAKES ARE HIGH FOR THE NCAA
Although the NCAA is armed with a number of defenses, it realizes that the players have hired a prominent attorney whose law firm has more than 420 attorneys. They likely have the financial wherewithal to take the long-view with this litigation. The players will be in no rush. If the NCAA plans to strike a fast settlement by offering modest financial terms to the players and their lawyers, they may encounter resistance.
Also, the NCAA will be defending itself in a Jefferson County court, where potential jurors might have close ties to the University of Louisville and also not be fans of the NCAA. Further, the judge will be an elected official. These dynamics might worry the NCAA, which could attempt to move the case to federal court (the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky would be the applicable federal court).
The NCAA also knows that if the five former Louisville players are successful in court, former players of other schools whose records have been vacated could detect a winning game plan. They could then file their own lawsuits in other jurisdictions. This could discourage the NCAA from using vacating wins as a penalty.
Likewise, the NCAA is mindful that Hancock v. NCAA fits into a broader paradigm of current and former player litigation against the NCAA over the treatment of student-athletes. This paradigm includes O’Bannon v. NCAA, where the NCAA was found to have violated antitrust law by preventing players from licensing their names, images and likenesses, and Jenkins v. NCAA, which is currently in litigation and which involves the legality of caps on athletic scholarships. The more this kind of litigation occurs, the harder it will be for the NCAA to maintain amateurism.
—For once Syracuse is rooting for Louisville. It’s just in court, not on court.
—The CJ looks at how the KFC Yum Center became Louisville’s billion dollar baby.
—Corey Ray simply refuses to stop belting dingers.
You want 3 Corey Ray dingers in one game?— Brewers Farm (@BrewersFarm) July 12, 2018
You got 3 Corey Ray dingers in one game.
Ray now leads the Southern League in both homers AND stolen-bases, not to mention 3rd in doubles AND triples. #Shuckers pic.twitter.com/YlcIvsajq0
—Josh Stowers is also having a big week.
—Bill Connelly continues his preseason previews of every team in college football with a closer look at Louisville opponent Virginia.
—Five-star big man Andre Igiehon talks Louisville and admits that the Cards are near the top of his list.
Oh, and just posting this picture from Louisville football workouts today because I like it . . . pic.twitter.com/RUDpp2DAIX— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) July 13, 2018
—Louisville volleyball coach Dani Busboom Kelly led the US Collegiate National Team to the gold medal in the European Global Challenge.
—Former U of L catcher Will Smith is killing it in the Dodgers organization.
—Another U of L alum, Matt Koch, has been called up by the Diamondbacks.
—Dennis Smith keeps the Ray Spalding praise coming.
.@Dennis1SmithJr raved about Ray Spalding’s performance in Vegas so far for the #Mavs, telling me — "(He's) very dedicated and a hard worker. … His potential is limitless.” Much more on that story coming soon to https://t.co/P5SWayPHZ9, ft. @Shredd74 & @RaySpalding_4, himself. pic.twitter.com/IctI7vTbtq— Dalton Trigg (@dalton_trigg) July 13, 2018
—College basketball coaches now universally oppose their own proposal to change July recruiting. Sure.
—Former Louisville punter/Heisman Trophy candidate Joshua Appleby is now thriving as the jackman on a NASCAR pit crew.
—Josh Nickelberry is trying to convince some of his travel teammates to become his college teammates.
—Five-star center Isaiah Stewart says Chris Mack will win at Louisville.
“He’s a winning coach,” Stewart said Thursday at the Nike EYBL event Peach Jam. ”You’ve seen what he’s done at Xavier. So, I mean, he’s going to win, no matter where he’s at. He’s definitely had success.”
Louisville is among the final 10 schools on Stewart’s list, which also includes Duke, Georgetown, Indiana, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Texas, Villanova and Washington.
Stewart, a native of Rochester, New York who plays for La Lumiere Prep in Indiana, said he plans to trim his list to five after the Peach Jam and a make a final decision after taking official visits in the fall.
“It’ll definitely be hard, because it’s taking the next step,” Stewart said. “It was hard for me to do it at 10, and now I have to cut five schools out that I have good relationships with. So, definitely not an easy thing to do.
“I’ll start to look more into rosters. Who they have coming in, teammates. Do I feel I can play with them? Are they good guys? The school, the fit. I really look at things like that.”
—Major shoutout to Louisville’s own Ben Rhodes for claiming the checkered flag at Kentucky Speedway Thursday night.
—The Rocket Watts movement is gaining serious traction.
We all need this.
—The NCAA is on the verge of making this the final time college coaches can attend Peach Jam. If it happens, it’ll fix exactly zero problems in the sport and come at the expense of young people’s opportunities, writes Gary Parrish.
—That’s my coach.
—Jake Lourim writes about how different the Louisville football team will look this season.
—The Louisville football players believe their collective voice was heard this week, which is refreshing.
Wide receiver Jaylen Smith said Friday morning that he knew the University of Louisville administration would do “everything they can” about the name on his college’s football stadium.
Within an hour, university president Neeli Bendapudi announced what Smith and his teammates called for a day earlier — that Louisville would immediately remove “Papa John’s” from the Cardinal Stadium name as a result of a racial slur made by Papa John’s founder John Schnatter.
“I do believe our voice was heard and we made a huge impact on the city and the university,” running back Trey Smith said after the announcement. “So I’m just proud of my guys.”
—Lamar Jackson reported to Ravens training camp on Wednesday.
—Terry’s still getting after it.
—Davidson basketball coach Bob McKillop is the man.
—And finally, Louisville checks in at No. 28 in CBS’ best in college sports rankings. Ohio State is No. 1.