Kentucky agrees to four-year deal with Louisville

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville have agreed to a four-year contract to continue the Governor's Cup football series through the 2009 season.

The series was scheduled to expire when the Wildcats and Cardinals face off on Sunday, September 4, 2005 at Commonwealth Stadium.

The new contract calls for the Wildcats to visit the Cardinals at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Sept. 2 in 2006. U of L has agreed to play at Commonwealth Stadium on September 15 in 2007 and host the Wildcats on August 30 in 2008. The final game of the series is slated for either Sept. 12 or Sept. 19 in Lexington during the 2009 campaign.

"UK is excited to continue this important series," said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. "Even though this is a relatively young rivalry, it is a big game to the teams and the fans of the Commonwealth and will generate great anticipation regardless of when it comes on the schedule. We appreciate U of L's willingness to be flexible in the schedule as we strive to do what we believe is best for our program. It's good that we were able to come to an agreement and we look forward to the continued competition between the teams."

"It was certainly our preference to always keep this the first game of the season," said U of L Athletics Director Tom Jurich. "However, our No. 1 priority was to keep this series going. I'm glad for the fans in the state of Kentucky that we were able to continue this rivalry."

The series, which began in 1912, was resumed in 1994 after a 70-year hiatus. The Wildcats won that contest, 20-14, at Commonwealth Stadium and own a 10-7 series advantage. However, the Cardinals have won seven of the last 11 meetings, including five of the last six.

"I'm glad the new contract has been finalized and that we're continuing to play them," said UK Coach Rich Brooks.

"I'm disappointed that we're not playing the game as our opener every season," said head coach Bobby Petrino. "We enjoy playing this game as the opener. It's great for football in the state. But I'm glad for the fans in the Commonwealth that the series will be continued."

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