Lawmakers express concern about university contracts with shoe companies in light of UofL recruiting scandal

09/28/2017 04:07 PM

FRANKFORT – On Thursday, University of Louisville Interim President Greg Postel gave an update on the state of the University of Louisville to members of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Education. The meeting included discussion of the current investigation involving the university’s men’s basketball program.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the university’s accrediting agency, had already placed the University of Louisville on probation in December 2016. The move was triggered by the way in which the UofL Board of Trustees were removed and replaced.

In addition to the board members’ removal, Postel said the probation resulted in SACS wanting the university’s response to other issues, including its financial stability and conflicts of interest – a request the university is in the process of completing.

Last week, SACS officials paid a visit to the UofL campus.

“We had six site visitors who are institutional officials from other universities that are also accredited by SACS, and they spent three days in Louisville, thoroughly reviewing our documents. They interviewed individuals, members of the General Assembly, the governor,” Postel said. “This week, we received a draft of the report from that visit, and it basically demonstrates basically a resolution of seven of the nine issues that they’ve been looking at.”

Postel said the two remaining issues SACS is interested in are currently being addressed.

“They asked for us to create a memorandum of understanding between the University of Louisville, and the University of Louisville Research Foundation, and the other item is that they asked us to give them an update on how our hiring processes are going, how our searches are going,” Postel said.

Even though committee co-chair Rep. Stephen West, R-Paris, wanted the discussion of the meeting to not necessarily include talk of the current situation with the school’s basketball program, a couple of legislators felt that it was appropriate to bring it up when discussing the current state of the institution.

Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, expressed her concern about details of the university’s contract with Adidas.

“It’s hard to know how much money can influence the corrupting influence that money can have on a process,” Flood said. “I personally need to know about, in the day ahead, the contract with Adidas. I want to know the details of this contract.”

Rep. Steve Riley, R-Glasgow, a former high school basketball coach, went as far as to blame the NCAA for the latest recruiting scandals.

“Any organization that thought it was a good idea to mix shoe companies and AAU was making major problems, was asking for problems” Riley said.

Postel told members that the university has made great strides in keeping tuition costs down for students, increasing the number of research grants and steady graduation rates.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at donald.weber@charter.com.

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