UofL fans excited for basketball season, ready to move past scandal

Red and white scrimmage

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- For many, this is the most wonderful time of the year –college basketball season. But in Louisville, after an FBI investigation into bribery in NCAA recruiting that led to the suspensions of men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich, there is a bit of a more uncertain mood.

"With basketball, it was going to be more of a daily basis with games where we're going to be making more money, but now we're a little bit concerned about it," Ernesto Rivera, a local restauranteur, said.

For Rivera, who opened his restaurant, El Barrio, three months ago, the location of his restaurant next to the Yum! Center was a strategic move, hoping to capitalize on game day traffic. But with the scandal casting a cloud over the basketball season, Rivera hopes fans will continue to support the Cards, and in turn, local businesses.

"It's all about the fans," he said. "It's all about giving them this experience, this experience, this feeling, how we're going to support them to continue to be one of the best teams in the whole nation."

"We want people to come out and support the Cards and enjoy the season and we'll worry about whatever happens later," George Timmering, the owner of Bearno's By-The-Bridge, said.

While Friday's scrimmage is still only just a practice, many fans said they're excited to see the focus back on the hardwood.

"I mean I'm just over the drama, all the negativity, like let's get back to the hoops and what we really love here in Louisville, our Louisville Cards," Cardinals fan Desmond Martin said.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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