The University of Louisville’s phenomenal success across the board in athletics is due in large part to its relationship with ESPN and the ensuing national exposure that resulted, according to a story in Sunday’s New York Times:
The boost has resulted in a building boom of athletic facilities while the programs themselves are competing for national honors. Equally important, the exposure has had strongly postive benefits in promoting significant progress in the school’s academic programs.
Over the past dozen years, to feed its unending appetite for live football, ESPN has made Louisville Cardinals midweek games a mainstay in prime time. In turn, Louisville has made exposure on ESPN the centerpiece of a campaign to rise above its commuter-school roots and become an unlikely powerhouse in college sports.
“If it wasn’t for ESPN, we would be a fraction of what we are today,” Tom Jurich, Louisville’s longtime athletic director, said in an interview in his office on April 1 as the university savored its latest basketball success: the men’s and women’s teams were each on the way to the Final Four. The men went on to win the N.C.A.A. title.
Tom Jurich, Louisville’s longtime athletic director, gave ESPN much of the credit for the university’s turnaround. “If it wasn’t for ESPN, we would be a fraction of what we are today,” he said.Christopher Gregory/The New York Times. “We owe them so, so much,” Mr. Jurich said of ESPN. “They were willing to take a chance on us.”
Read the rest of the story here.