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Louisville evaluating naming rights to stadium

Louisville evaluating naming rights to stadium

University of Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi said Thursday that the school is evaluating the naming rights to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium as fallout continues over John Schnatter’s use of the N-word during an internal conference call.

Schnatter, the pizza chain founder, resigned from the school’s board of trustees and as Papa John’s chairman on Wednesday after the story came to light.

Bendapudi spoke to reporters in Louisville after a board of trustees committee meeting Thursday.

“We haven’t had a chance to discuss it formally but yes, certainly we are aware that there is a lot of interest in this and we are hoping to come together to discuss it,” she said, according to WDRB.com.

The naming rights deal for the football stadium is unique, because the school’s deal is with Schnatter, not the Papa John’s brand. The deal provides that if he leaves the company, Schnatter can rename the building. His current deal with the university runs through 2040.

On Thursday, some current Louisville football players tweeted that they wanted the Papa John’s name off their home stadium.

Already, the mayor of his hometown of Jefferson, Indiana, had Schnatter’s name removed from the town’s basketball gym and ordered his likeness taken down from the city’s Wall of Fame.

Meanwhile, Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins issued a statement Thursday to say they are “immediately suspending our relationship and promotions with the Papa John’s brand.”

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