Enthusiasm from 2016 will help Louisville complete stadium upgrades a year in advance


A funny thing happens when your football program has one of the most successful seasons in school history and you have a Heisman Trophy player on your roster. Donations tend to come in either more frequently or in higher volume. Thanks to a successful 2016 season, Louisville announced stadium renovations to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will be able to be completed a year ahead of schedule and be ready in time for the 2018 season.

The school announced the acceptance of some extra significant donations from corporate sponsors Pepsi and Norton Healthcare, which recently donated $5 million to the stadium project.

“We are extremely appreciative for Norton Healthcare’s generous gift to allow this project to forge ahead,” Tom Jurich, Louisville Vice President and Director of Athletics said. “They have always been a tremendous partner for our department, and this major gift certainly strengthens their commitment. The project is moving along steadily, and I’m very grateful for everyone who has contributed to the future of this program. Their gifts have enabled us to move up the completion date.”

Stadium renovations on Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium were announced prior to the 2015 season and officially got under way last November following the conclusion of the 2016 regular season. The project will add 10,000 additional seats in the north end zone, closing up the bowl structure rather than keeping the one end of the stadium without seats. Being able to get a jump start on selling potentially 10,000 new tickets a year ahead of schedule is great news for Louisville and the school’s finances, as it was not originally planning to have the additional ticket (and concession?) revenue for another year. Every little bit helps, right?

As long as everything goes to the upgraded timeline, Louisville will play its first football game in the expanded and renovated stadium on September 8, 2018 against Indiana State, a week after opening the 2018 season in Orlando against Alabama.

Utah State player upgraded to fair condition after collapse

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Utah State redshirt freshman wide receiver Josh Davis is in fair condition on Friday, one day after collapsing at spring football practice following sudden cardiac arrest, the university announced.

Davis, initially was listed in critical condition, was breathing on his own. He is in the intensive-care unit at McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah.

Davis’ parents arrived in Utah on Thursday evening.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Davis, who is from Carlsbad, California, collapsed at Merlin Olsen Field and was immediately treated by the training staff, the university said. He was taken to Logan Regional Hospital.

The university said Davis was stabilized in the Logan hospital before being moved to Ogden.

Alabama suspends freshman defensive back after drug arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama freshman defensive back Tony Mitchell has been suspended from the team following his arrest on a drug charge.

Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said Monday after the first practice of spring that Mitchell was suspended from the team “and all team activities until we gather more information about the situation and what his legal circumstance is.”

The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mitchell and another man, Christophere Lewis, last week on a charge of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Lewis also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.

“Everybody’s got an opportunity to make choices and decisions,” Saban said. “There’s no such thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You’ve gotta be responsible for who you’re with, who you’re around and what you do, who you associate yourself with and the situations that you put yourself in. It is what it is, but there is cause and effect when you make choices and decisions that put you in bad situations.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a five-star prospect rated the 34th-best player and No. 3 safety in the 247Composite rankings.

Mitchell was driving the vehicle during a traffic stop. After deputies smelled marijuana, Mitchell picked up a baggie of marijuana from the passenger floorboard, according to the department’s Facebook post.

Sheriff’s deputies found “an additional significant amount of marijuana, a set of scales, a loaded handgun between the passenger seat and center console, and a large amount of cash,” according to the department’s Facebook post.