- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The University of Louisville’s interim president outlined his game plan Wednesday to bolster oversight of its powerhouse athletics department, which came under attack from a trustee whose company’s name is attached to the football stadium.

Interim President Greg Postel said his actions weren’t spurred by the recent criticism from pizza magnate John Schnatter, a UofL trustee who called the athletic department leadership “invisible.” Schnatter also said the athletic department needed to be “fixed” but didn’t elaborate.

At the school’s first board of trustees meeting since Schnatter’s broadside, Postel said he has reviewed the athletic department’s budget - line by line. He said it’s part of his assignment from trustees to scrutinize overall university operations.

“I’m working my way down the list,” Postel later told reporters, noting that his first priorities included the university’s accreditation and budget problems.

Postel offered a strong endorsement of athletic director Tom Jurich, and said he had not come across anything in athletics that needs to be fixed.

“It just needs to be studied and have oversight, just like every other area of the university,” he told reporters.

Postel said the oversight steps include a proposal related to financial control and oversight of the athletics department, calling it a “good business practice.” He said that vacancies on the UofL Athletic Association Board will be filled. Also, Jurich will start attending trustees meetings.

“We will be fortunate to have direct representation from the athletics department at the top level … so that you can address questions to him and he can report on the activities and the successes of athletics,” Postel said told trustees.

Schnatter - the founder, chairman and CEO of the Papa John’s pizza chain - did not comment during the meeting. Afterward, when asked about Postel’s actions, Schnatter replied: “I’m happy.”

Postel also gave trustees an update on the school’s plans to expand Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. He called it “an incredibly important project” for the school and its football program.

“It’s critical that we stay on top of this project,” Postel said. “And at this point, this project is on budget and on time.”

The school’s athletic department operates under its own budget separate from the university. The stadium expansion is being paid for by private donations, sponsorships and ticket sales. The expansion is scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2018 season.

Postel attended last week’s meeting with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions to answer allegations that a former Cardinals men’s basketball staffer hired strippers for sex parties with players and recruits. Postel has said the school received a “full and fair review of the facts.”

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