Rick Pitino is one step closer to setting foot back in the state of Kentucky.
After admitting to using a racial slur, “Papa John” Schnatter has resigned from his position on the UofL board of trustees.
Forbes released a report this morning, saying the Papa John’s founder and ex-CEO used the N-word on a conference call with marketing agency Laundry Service back in May.
This afternoon, Schnatter released the following statement to Fox News and resigned from the UofL BOT soon thereafter.
“News reports attributing the use of inappropriate and hurtful language to me during a media training session regarding race are true,” John Schnatter said. “Regardless of the context, I apologize. Simply stated, racism has no place in our society.”
UofL board chairman David Grissom released the following statement about Papa John’s resignation:
JUST IN: Schnatter resigns from UofL board of trustees: pic.twitter.com/LdDa6x0CJL
— Joe Sonka ? (@joesonka) July 11, 2018
Schnatter stepped down as CEO of Papa John’s back in December following backlash of comments made about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. At the time, he said those participating in anthem protests hurt his sales at Papa John’s, a National Football League sponsor and advertiser.
Former Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been adamant about never returning to Kentucky, specifically for the Oaks and Kentucky Derby, until both Schnatter and Grissom resigned from their positions on the board of trustees.
“I will not (go to Churchill Downs),” Pitino said, “unless (chairman) David Grissom and the pizza guy, Papa John (Schnatter), retire from the (university’s) board of trustees. Then, I’ll be there.”
Pitino said he was “very humiliated, very hurt” by Schnatter’s past comments about him, who scoffed at the idea of coaches attending board meetings.
“I have a problem with coaches coming to trustees meetings,” Pitino quoted Schnatter as saying. “What’s next, the women’s volleyball coach coming in there?” The former Louisville head coach also said the board of trustees, led by Schnatter in particular, didn’t want him there any longer and “rushed to judgment on a lot of things.”
“You give your heart and soul,” Pitino told the Courier-Journal back in December. “You love the place and all of a sudden you’re asked to leave without an explanation. It’s very hurtful. The only reason I’m not as bitter as I should be is I don’t believe these people (on the board of trustees) are the University of Louisville.”
One down, one to go.
And with that, Papa is no longer in the house.