College basketball scandal: University of Louisville boosters fear 'this could be tragic'
Here's what season ticket holders and supporters of the University of Louisville are saying after the men's basketball program was caught up in an FBI investigation involving payments to recruits:
» Bill Stone, U of L Athletics Board, business owner, and longtime athletics supporter:
"This is early, but the ramifications of this could be tragic for some people."
Stone also expressed sympathy for fans who have spent a lot of their disposable income on season tickets. "How let down they must feel today," Stone said.
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» Jonathan Blue, Louisville businessman, developer, former University of Louisville Foundation and Board of Trustees member:
» Mary Moss Greenebaum, organizer of the Kentucky Author Forum and member of the University of Louisville board of overseers:
"I"m not familiar with this (the FBI sting, but) this university has become an athletics palace and it's proven in the down spiraling of its schools," particularly the rankings of the law school and medical school.
"It's all about athletics," she said.
» Jerry King, 1960s era University of Louisville basketball player and member of the school's Athletics Hall of Fame:
"It's like a bomb dropped today. Boom," King said. And what's worse is that after two prior scandals involving Coach (Rick) Pitino and Karen Sypher and prostitutes entertaining basketball players, "now this ... these are repeated incidents. It's a pattern."
The university has to get back to stressing "character, integrity and values" at the president's office, the student ranks, and especially in its athletics department, he said.
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» Hank Conn, benefactor behind a $20 million donation to create Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at U of L:
The revelations are disheartening, but he and other big donors are far more disturbed by the allegations of up to $100 million spent and misused by the university's foundation under former President James Ramsey. "Athletics is less of a concern than the whole Ramsey thing," Conn said.
"Martha Stewart goes to prison for taking a stock tip. ... In the private sector this would put people in orange jumpsuits. And we got all this going on?" Reporter Grace Schneider can be reached at 502-582-4082 or email@example.com.