The fallout from Papa John's founder John Schnatter's controversial comment during a conference call continued Friday as University of Louisville president Neeli Bendapudi announced that the school will change the name of its football stadium to Cardinal Stadium from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
On Wednesday, Schnatter acknowledged the truth of a Forbes story that said he used the N-word during a discussion about public relations with the company's outside marketing agency in May. Papa John's founder John Schnatter's name will also be removed from the school's Center for Free Enterprise, she said.
Top executives made a decision to remove Schnatter but details are still being worked out.
Keith Hollingsworth, a professor at Morehouse College's business department, said keeping Schnatter on marketing would be a signal to people that the company does not have a problem with his comments, or that it didn't think they were a big deal.
"Regardless of the context, I apologize", the statement said.
The contract states that there are a few ways for the stadium's name to change, both relying on action from Schnatter. The company also confirmed that it has no plans to rename the brand. There is no clear recourse named in the contract that would allow the university to break the contract should a scandal like this happen. Papa John's is now scrubbing Schnatter's image from its packaging and marketing materials.
"We understand this comes with certain consequences, and we have examined all of those", Bendapudi said, not clarifying what the consequences could be.
The face of Papa John's is being sliced out of its ads. That prompted the company's stock to recover some of the losses it suffered after the report, and shares climbed another 3 percent Friday. "Better Pizza. Papa John's" tagline in that spot.
While the stadium bore the name of the pizza company, the naming rights deal was with Schnatter himself instead of the company.