LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It's been a rocky start to this year's basketball season at the University of Louisville, with the firing of former Head Coach Rick Pitino, but we're now seeing an effort to unify.
The slogan, "The Power of We," may be the perfect way to do it. Much of the headlines involving this year's men's basketball team have had nothing to do with X's and O's.
Former Head Coach Rick Pitino has been fired. Former Athletic Director Tom Jurich, also fired.
The FBI, UofL and NCAA are investigating after an alleged pay for play bribery scheme.
"The silver lining has really been to see the way that people can really come together and really get through it," Lottie Stockwell said.
She is the assistant athletic director and runs brand marketing & licensing. This year shows the phrase, "We the Future," which was finalized in August, before the latest scandal.
The first billboard is already up on Interstate 65 and 71 at the junction, heading westbound.
Stockwell adds, "Given our current challenges that we certainly didn't see coming, it’s interesting that the brand is authentic enough that it was able to hold up. The WE is not just the team, it's not just the basketball staff that is working seven days a week to bring the season forward, it’s not just the Athletic Department, it’s not just the University, it's all of us in this community and this city."
These boards will be popping up over Downtown in addition to print marketing this season, featuring not just the captains or seniors but the entire team.
Every class, Freshman through Seniors have their own billboard and there's some love for the hometown players, each player is receiving recognition.
"This fanbase that has been the backbone of this program for so long and we need you and we need each other and to get through this together, I know we can come out on the other side," Stockwell said.
Stockwell says this year, in particular, has been trying, difficult and an unimaginable range of emotions. She knows all who support L1C4 is trying to cope, that's why high above downtown, fans will see their players and a team hoping to get back to just basketball.
In addition to the series of boards featuring all of the players, Stockwell tells me the fans will also be featured, she says they are the critical part of the "WE" and players needs fans now, more than ever.
The Men's Tip-Off Luncheon is this Thursday downtown at the Marriott hotel and the second red and white scrimmage is this Friday night at the KFC Yum Center.