Bendapudi ends Papa John’s drama quickly at Louisville

Papa John’s signs coming down at the University of Louisville football stadium.

John H. Schnatter’s name coming off the UofL’s Center for Free Enterprise.

Neeli Bendapudi not one to wait around, taking decisive action to end the drama.

Those decisions coming from University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi less than 24 hours after John Schnatter was outed for uttering the N-word during a business meeting.

Rapid-fire solutions for all the UofL supporters and fans who were so on edge after Schnatter resigned from the UofL board of trustees. The guy with the big mouth tripping over his tongue, branded forever in a super sensitive social environment.

So much resentment, so many people upset, each of them seemingly more racially sensitive than the next. Nobody happy about the situation. Many of the offended demanding that UofL change the name of the stadium overnight, the calls coming within hours of the Forbes Magazine report.

As if the name could be changed immediately, without any regard for iron-clad business contracts. Yet that’s exactly what Bendapudi did, deciding overnight that UofL had to cut any official ties with the individual and his company, wanting to disassociate his name with UofL and deal with the collateral damage later.

“Over the last 24 hours our community has been fractured by the comments made by former UofL trustee John Schnatter,” she said. “These comments were hurtful and unacceptable, and they do not reflect the values of our university.

“I have stated since my first day on this job that my commitment to the University of Louisville is to make it a great place to learn, a great place to work, and a great place in which to invest. We can only accomplish this if we truly celebrate diversity, foster equity, and aim to achieve inclusion.”

Bendapudi telling one of the university’s one of the school’s most generous contributors that UofL no longer wanted to be associated with him. No board meetings, no media posturing, no endless waits. Just a telephone call. 

Quick and decisive action. A new day at UofL.

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

3 thoughts on “Bendapudi ends Papa John’s drama quickly at Louisville”

  1. You said it, the key words are decisive action. I was thrilled, when they hire President Bendapudi and more thrilled, since she has been on the job. She is as enthusiastic as they come and she has said and done all the right things so far. I hope she has an incredibly long and fruitful career here.

  2. President Bendapudi is a keeper. She is doing the morally right things that protect the University of Louisville. What a refreshing thing it is to see a leader be leader. She understands well that act like you are in charge and you will be in charge. We are luck to have her at UofL!

Comments are closed.