University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino started his news conference on Friday to preview the Cardinals Spring Game by taking a stance in support of the man he called the "best athletic director in the country."
U of L board of trustee John Schnatter made some critical comments of U of L athletic director Tom Jurich at a meeting on Wednesday, calling the longtime athletics boss "invisible," while questioning some of the spending practices by the athletic department. One of the main points from Schnatter was the school didn't have enough funding to start the new stadium expansion. His company - Papa John's - has the naming rights of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"It's just unbelievable," Petrino said. "Like I said, we're the envy of a lot of programs out there, and fiscally we've been off the charts in what we've been able to do. So it's just unbelievable to me.
"Everybody that's within the athletic department knows that Tom is a great leader and he does it for every single sport."
Petrino never mentioned Schnatter by name but said the expansion of the stadium is "ahead of schedule and under budget."
"The expansion is going really well, and it's really fun," he said. "The best thing about the expansion is that all the money is raised from donations and ticket sales. Not one penny comes from the university. And we're ahead of schedule and under budget, so we're doing a great job."
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