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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

One month from today, folks.

—Louisville football has announced that its Fan Fest event will be held on Aug. 17th from 3-5 p.m. in the Bronze lot at Cardinal Stadium. Scott Satterfield and players will sign autographs from 4-5 p.m.

—Small forward Josh Hall, the No. 25 overall player in the class of 2020, will take an official visit to Louisville on Sept. 1. Hall picked up an offer from U of L last month.

—In an attempt to avoid perceived conflicts of interest, the NCAA launched a new independent investigative unit on Friday. The issue? Five of the 16 people on that new unit are employed by Freeh Group International Solutions, a firm that has already been criticized for soliciting NCAA business while it was supposed to be conducting an independent investigation of Penn State.

Several persons involved in college athletics told CBS Sports on Thursday they were surprised Freeh was among those investigators chosen, if only because of the appearance of a conflict of interest. One of those observers jokingly suggested the NCAA hire a “vice president of optics” considering the Freeh-heavy makeup of the Complex Case Unit.

Essentially, it’s hard to be an independent investigator of NCAA schools when you’re trying to do business with the NCAA.

The IARP was developed to “minimize perceived conflicts of interest,” according to the NCAA’s press release. The Complex Case Unit on which Freeh serves has no school or conference affiliation. That group also includes powerful attorney Tom Mars, who will act as an “advocate” in deciding which cases go forward.

The unit will hear only the most high-profile cases going forward with those found guilty by the Independent Resolution Panel having no chance to appeal.

No appeal?

That’s another controversy for another time. We’ll see how schools react to a final judgment on college matters from a 15-person group that includes exactly onecollege administrator -- Tennessee athletics director emeritus Joan Cronan.

Problem solved!

—U of L football has announced that the team’s Oct. 26 home game against Virginia will be Homecoming this year.

—Jay Scrubb took his second unofficial visit to Louisville in as many months on Thursday.

As a product of Louisville Trinity, Scrubb is quite familiar with the Cardinals program. He’s well aware of the high expectations at UofL, along with the deep tradition, the immense fan support and the impressive facilities. The unofficial visit, his second in two months, allowed him an opportunity to further bond with head coach Chris Mack and the coaching staff and provide more insight into what it would be like to play for the Cardinals.

”It was a real experience for me,” he told Cardinal Authority. “Chris Mack is a great guy and he was basically telling me why I’m a great fit for them. I also got to meet more of the players this time and they are a really a bunch of good guys.

”It’s hands on with everything. I was able to get to know all the assistant coaches and see how it all works. It all really amazed me.”

—Final odds to win the ACC via My Top Sportsbook:


1. Clemson: 1/4
2. Miami: 12/1
3. FSU: 19/1
4. FIELD: 11/1

—U of L women’s soccer standout Emina Ekic has been named to the watch list for the 2019 Women’s MAC Hermann Trophy, which is essentially the Heisman Trophy of soccer.

—On the men’s side of things, Emil Elveroth has been named to the same watch list.

—Sports Illustrated shows some love to the return of the Dunking Cardinal Bird.

—I would have also been fine with this.

—Per Jody Demling, Malaki Branham, the No. 22 overall player in the class of 2021, is expected to take an unofficial visit to Louisville this weekend.

—Louisville makes the final eight for top 30 class of 2020 talent DJ Steward.

—Louisville is a 2-seed in the South in the latest bracketology from CBS.

—Jeff Sims, aka “the other awful coach” on the new season of Last Chance U, says that a player dying of heatstroke under his watch last August was “an act of God.”

Guy is the worst.


—This deep dive into the race to sign Zion Williamson to a shoe deal is nuts.

—Tom Ziller ranks every NBA free agent for 2020, and has Montrezl Harrell at No. 19.

—Jordan Nwora makes Andy Katz’s list of the “16 names you’ll be hearing during March Madness.”

2. Jordan Nwora, Louisville: Nwora should be the ACC player of the year after leading the Cardinals to an ACC title and a No. 1 seed. Louisville will lean heavily on him to continue a remarkable turnaround and deliver Chris Mack his first Final Four in just a few short seasons as head coach of a historic program.

—DeVante Parker talks about the lofty goal he wants to reach in 2019.

—Will Smith is unbelievable.

—The full non-conference schedule for the 2019-20 men’s basketball season will be unveiled on Aug. 8.

—Even the BBN folks over at A Sea of Blue are fans of Louisville’s new court.

—Elizabeth Kizito is a damn legend.

—Muhammad Ali International Airport is on pace to have the busiest year in its history.

—Franz Wagner, Mo’s little brother, is going to be a load for Louisville to handle in a few months.

—Big changes are coming to two iconic Louisville businesses.

—Forbes says Louisville football has the toughest schedule of any ACC team for the upcoming season.

ACC: Louisville

If Scott Satterfield is to have much success in his first season on the Cardinals’ sideline it will come against a schedule that is strong throughout. Among the first four games are a visit from Notre Dame on Labor Day evening and a trip to Florida State. The last two Saturdays in October feature visits from Clemson and what many project will be Coastal Division winner Virginia. Three of UL’s final four games are on the road: Miami, NC State and the traditional season-ender with Kentucky. The lone home date in that span is against Syracuse.

Next toughest: Duke opens with the Crimson Tide in Atlanta and has games at Virginia Tech (coming off a bye) and Virginia. Though three of their final four are at home, the opponents are Notre Dame, Syracuse and Miami with the Orange coming off a bye.

—Cardinal Authority looks at five potential MVP candidates for the Cardinal defense in 2019.

—Friday Irrelevance, QUADRUPLE helping:

—Donovan Mitchell is playing a lot of basketball this summer, which is a good thing.

—And finally, headlined by kicker Blanton Creque, Louisville is returning a ton of experience to its 2019 special teams unit.