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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Jamie and Justin took the Summer Tour to Canton so they could be there to catch Lamar Jackson’s professional debut.

—Offseason Spread Check: Endless final weeks of August by 4.5.

—Lamar Jackson says his NFL debut wasn’t what he was expecting, but knows he and the other Baltimore newcomers are still learning.

—We may have our fair share of negative headlines still, but we also have Donovan Mitchell.

Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg has more on the story.

As he waited for a technician at a Salt Lake City Apple store to examine his broken iPhone on Wednesday, Andrew Simeona’s brother struck up a conversation with a friendly fellow customer standing nearby.

He had no idea the man he was speaking with was Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, nor did he have any inkling that the NBA rookie-of-the-year runner-up was about to make him a fan for life.

When the Apple store technician finally came over a few minutes later, he delivered some bad news for Simeona’s brother. The phone’s shattered screen required an expensive repair job, one Simeona’s brother couldn’t afford.

“My brother said, ‘Oh, it’s OK,’ and took his broken phone back,” Simeona said. “Donovan overheard all this and he could tell my brother was disappointed. He spoke up and said, ‘Well, how much is it?’ Then he intervened and covered the cost of the repair.”

Simeona’s brother still had no idea who came to his rescue until after Mitchell left. That’s when the Apple technician approached him again and said, “You realize that’s Donovan Mitchell, right?”

Shocked and a little sheepish, Simeona’s brother admitted he had no idea. Then he raced home to tell the rest of his family about his crazy experience.

Guy is the best.

—Jeff Greer updates his U of L basketball recruiting big board.

—This is a really interesting (and telling) look at how Vanderbilt administrators undercut fundraising for the school’s football stadium.


— serves up some things for you to do in August.

—Trinity standout and Louisville recruit David Johnson received a scholarship offer from Baylor on Thursday.

—Rick Pitino talked to the CJ’s Tim Sullivan and responded to the story of the Bowen/DePaul text message that he sent to Kenny Johnson.

To read that remark as a declaration places Pitino in an awkward position. It amounts to an accusation that a rival school was attempting to lure a coveted recruit with a bribe. It also indicates a greater awareness of corruption in Bowen’s recruiting than Pitino has previously acknowledged.

Speaking on Thursday to the Courier Journal, Pitino characterized the text message as a bit of gossip he did not believe, communicated to him by an individual he declined to name with a long-standing grudge against DePaul.

“I said to Kenny Johnson on the phone: ‘I don’t believe a word of it. Where would DePaul get $200,000 to pay Brian Bowen?’” Pitino said. “There’s no truth to what this guy said. He’s a nobody in the business. He hates DePaul, this guy. ...

“There was no merit behind the thing. That’s why I never brought it to anybody. I get 20-30 text messages: ‘I heard UCLA is giving this. I heard Kansas is giving this.’ There’s no facts. I really didn’t think twice about it.”

I’ve never been more convinced that I’m living inside a simulation. There’s no way this is all really happening.

—As most people expected, Pendleton County standout Dontaie Allen committed to Kentucky on Thursday. After a breakout summer, Allen received a scholarship offer from Louisville last month.

—Only Papa John can save Papa John’s, says Papa John.

—Your Florida Man of the week:

—Kentucky has two of the three biggest college basketball choke jobs of the last decade.

—Montrezl Harrell’s summer escapades with James Harden in the Drew League continue (video).

—An investigative report: Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suarez is the best bubble gum blower in all of baseball.

—This is the definitive degenerate gambler video.

—After acquiring him in a trade for cash earlier this week, the Mavericks are set to waive Chinanu Onuaku.

—The U of L women’s golf team has released its full schedule for the upcoming season.

—Louisville Business First looks at how U of L will use a $2 million grant from Nature Conservancy.

—Shoutout to the West Louisville All-Stars. Win it all.

—Rick Bozich has three big questions as Louisville opens up fall camp.

—David Padgett is still technically working for U of L.

—Chris Mack has given Louisville fans a reason to be optimistic about recruiting moving forward.

—Eric Crawford says what we’re all thinking: Rick Pitino and U of L need to settle and move on.

—And finally, a double helping of Friday Irrelevance.