Papa John's Founder John Schnatter Resigned As Chairman of The Board

Papa John's founder resigns as chairman after apologizing for racial slur

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi has announced the university is renaming its football stadium to "Cardinal Stadium", removing the Papa John's sponsorship.

Schnatter resigned from the U of L Board of Trustees and the board of his company Wednesday after Forbes published a reportthat he had used the n-word during a conference call. Papa John's founder John Schnatter's name will also be removed from the school's Center for Free Enterprise, she said.

Many of Papa John's recent ads have not featured Schnatter. The pizza chain said Friday there are no plans to change its name.

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Schnatter's controversial comment came during a role-playing exercise during a May conference call, which itself was organized in the wake of his comments concerning the NFL, and placing blame on the league's national anthem protests for the company's sales, Forbes reported.

Top executives made a decision to remove Schnatter but details are still being worked out. Schnatter released a statement Wednesday apologizing, which said in part, "Regardless of the context, I apologize".

Thursday, two Louisville players spoke out against the name of the stadium. That prompted the company's stock to recover some of the losses it suffered after the report, and shares climbed another 3 percent Friday.

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Pizza-craving baseball fans have other - and, frankly, better - options at Target Field, including Pizza Lucé (Section 234), by-the-slice Freschetta (Sections 122 and 318), and stone-oven personals (Carew Atrium).

Bendapudi said she is trying to differentiate between Schnatter and his company, noting multiple times how many people who work at Papa John's and how cutting ties completely could impact them.

The school has a deal that runs through 2040 with Schnatter himself and not the Papa John's brand, but if Schnatter leaves the company he can rename the building, according to ESPN.

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Built in the late 1990s, the football stadium was financed with $20 million in donations from Schnatter and his company - $14 million in personal gifts and $6 million from Papa John's worldwide, according to a pair of naming rights agreements and extensions obtained by WDRB.

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