The last vestiges of the aluminum bleachers from the old Cardinal Stadium at the Fairgrounds have finally been pulled or knocked down. And as this video from Business First indicates, it was not a job for the faint of heart.
For fans wanting chairs from the first and third-base sides, we’re told that the Kentucky State Fair Board still has that under consideration. But first, the board has to get a $3 million demolition request approved by the Kentucky General Assembly, which is no easy matter. Probably a cliffhanger in the closing hours of the legislative session.
Jeremy Smith was scheduled to visit Notre Dame last week, then head for Alabama for a couple of days over the weekend. But he made some significant changes in his itinerary and wound up at the University of Louisville.
So much for the Irish and the Crimson Tide.
Smith obviously liked what he saw and heard during his Louisville visit, and has made a verbal commitment to become an integral part of the UofL football program.
A 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back transferring from Fresno (Calif.) City College, Smith rushed for 1,735 yards and scored 17 touchdowns this past season. He capped it off with with 168 yards and a touchdown in a season-ending win in the State Center Bowl.
Smith played high school football at Hammond High Magnet School in Louisiana. He exploded for 447 yards and seven touchdowns in a game against Pearl River High as a junior in 2012.
Coach Rick Pitino is not happy. Practice sessions are going to be even more grueling for members of the University of Louisville basketball team following a sluggish 68-57 over North Carolina Wilmington.
Too much freelancing, players looking for shots instead of open teammates, not respecting the opponent until an 11-point lead is whittled down to two points with less than seven minutes to go in the game.
“Ego is edging greatness out of the locker room,” he said during a one minute, 46-second press conference.
That’s the second time Pitino has made the “ego” comment, the other occasion following the 45-33 win over Cleveland State four games ago. An undefeated record, proving nothing, creating some big heads apparently. Back to the whipping post one more time, hoping to make it stick this time around.
But what about Montrezl Harrell, with his 19 points, 17 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and an assist?
“The best of a bad lot,” snapped the coach in post-game show with Paul Rogers of WHAS. “They came back too full of themselves after the Indiana game. They will pay a price starting tomorrow.”
Players on Pitino-coached teams have often described his practices as very demanding, saying the games provide a much-welcomed break from the micro-managed chaos.
No one on this team is looking forward to the next five days, including the players, the assistant coaches, the strength coach, the trainers, the equipment managers, and the administrative staff. Everyone will pay.
For the season, Jude has started in all nine games, averaging 4.9 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. She leads the team in steals with 25 and is third in assists with 24. She also is the team leader in turnovers with 25.
Shoni is in the stands at many home games, cheering her on, and remains a source of strength off the court. Their days of teaming up for assists and break-away layups are fond memories.
The women’s basketball team is 8-1, but the only loss was an ugly one to Kentucky, which overcame a 16-point deficit to claim its fourth win in a row over Louisville. The women play Old Dominion (6-2) Monday at 7 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center.
In the loss to UK, Jude missed all six of her field goal attempts and was tagged with four turnovers before fouling out with 29 seconds remaining in the game. To her credit, she did have two rebounds, three steals and four assists in a game she would rather forget.
If Gerod Holliman wasn’t tracking down the football, the ball was finding him.
Entirely appropriate that Holliman would make a pick on the last play of the regular season, intercepting a pass from Kentucky’s Patrick Towles, returning the ball 65 yards to nail down a 44-40 win for the University of Louisville.
The interception was Holliman’s 14th of the season, tying an NCAA record.
Holliman was honored Thursday with the Jim Thorpe Award for the 2014 season, the highest honor a defensive back can receive, and he was also named first team All-America on the Walter Camp team. He is the first UofL player to earn first team Walter Camp honors since defensive end Elvis Dumervil in 2005.
Holliman was also named a first team CBS All-American on Wednesday and was a first team All-ACC selection by the media and coaches this season.
The redshirt sophomore made at least one interception in nine of 12 games. He amassed 245 return yards on picks and returned one for a touchdown. He also had 37 tackles, including three for a loss, in nine starts. He had one sack and three pass break-ups.
Holliman was one three finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. He edged out Alabama junior Landon Collins, credited with 95 tackles, six pass breakups and three interceptions, and Oregon senior defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, with 63 tackles and two interceptions.
Rick Pinto will have still another player to add to his rotation, as he hones his University of Louisville basketball team for its first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Add Shaqquan Aaron to the list, the 6-foot-7, 170-pound freshman guard from Seattle, who has finally been cleared by the NCAA. The organization declared him eligible Tuesday, mandating that he miss the first nine games.
Aaron has been declared a “project” by Pitino because of his thin frame. But he’s definitely a shooter, reminding many of Francisco Garcia when he first arrived at UofL. He makes it look easy, whether he’s launching his shot beyond the arc or on a mid-range jumper.
He averaged 19.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 7.5 assists, led Seattle Rainier Beach High (30-1) to the Washington Class 3A state championship, scoring 16 of his game-high 22 points in the second half of the title game.
Minimal defensive challenges in the video, but Aaron has obvious skills:
The University of Louisville and the community lost a good friend with the passing of Sam Swope at the age of 88 on Tuesday.
The founder of the Sam Swope Auto Group was a generous benefactor to UofL, having donated a total $1.3 million to the University since 1987. The total included $246,000 to athletics, including major gifts for the construction, and later expansion, of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. It also included $100,000 for the UofL Marching Band.
Swope chaired the marketing committee during the community fundraising drive for the stadium, working closely with Malcolm Chancey in reaching out to benefactors and fans throughout the Louisville area to support the stadium.
A graduate of Ohio State University, Swope became an Adopted Alumnus of UofL in 1982. He went on to become a member of the UofL Board of Overseers and the board of the University of Louisville Hospital.
He received the Presidential Medal from James Ramsey in 2013 for outstanding service and, in 2014, received an honorary degree.
Swope also donated millions to local charities, including Kosair Charities, the Kentucky Humane Society and the Kentuckiana Boy Scouts of America.