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WKU Media Relations

The Western Kentucky University football is going to its fourth consecutive bowl game.

The Hilltoppers have accepted a bid to the AutoNation Cure Bowl in Orlando, where they’ll take on Georgia State Saturday, December 16.

The AutoNation Cure Bowl describes itself as a celebration of women who are living with breast cancer, and has donated more than $2.3 million dollars to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in its first two years.

WKU heads into its bowl game with a record of 6-6.

Wikimedia Commons

Former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the university’s athletic association.

Pitino was fired for cause last month by the association’s board amid an FBI investigation into college basketball recruiting.

The suit, filed Thursday in federal court, says the school effectively fired Pitino in late September when it placed him on administrative leave and locked him out of his office. It says Pitino should have been given 10 days’ notice and an opportunity to be heard, as specified in his contract.

WKU Athletics

The Western Kentucky University volleyball team won’t have to travel far for their first-round NCAA tournament.

The Lady Hilltoppers will face Notre Dame Friday at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington.

It’s the fourth-straight year WKU has made the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Lady Toppers are 30-3 on the season, and got an automatic bid to the tournament after winning the Conference USA postseason championship.

WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations

The Western Kentucky University Track and Field team is mourning the loss of assistant coach Willie Johnson, who passed away early Sunday morning.

He was 34 years old.

The team held a candle light vigil in memory of Johnson Monday night at the WKU Track and Field Complex.

University of Louisville

David Padgett has been named interim men’s basketball head coach of the University of Louisville.

The announcement comes two days after coach Rick Pitino was placed on unpaid leave after revelations that U of L coaches and a player are tied to an alleged bribery scheme.

Padgett has been an assistant coach at U of L. He was given a six-month deal.

Padgett played for Pitino and the Cardinals from 2005 to 2008 and is a former McDonald’s All-American. He joined the coaching staff in 2014 and became assistant coach in 2015.

Rick Howlett

If athletic director Tom Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino depart the University of Louisville amid the latest scandal allegations, it’s likely the public university will remain on the hook for hefty portions of their pay.

Both have earned tens of millions of dollars during their tenures at U of L. Pitino, whose salary last year was about $5 million, is reportedly one of the highest paid coaches in college hoops.

WKU Athletics

Western Kentucky University is mourning the loss of own of its most famous athletes.

Basketball legend Jim McDaniels passed away Wednesday night in Bowling Green at the age of 69.

McDaniels was a 7-foot center from Scottsville who led the Hilltoppers to the 1971 Final Four, and finished his career tied with the most points ever scored by a men’s player at WKU.

He’s one of eight former WKU players to have their jersey retired and hung in the rafters at E.A. Diddle Arena.

WKU

The University of Kentucky's newly renamed Kroger Field will host high school state championship football games in 2017 and 2018.

The school and the KHSAA on Wednesday announced the Gridiron Bowl's move from Western Kentucky's Houchens Stadium in Bowling Green after eight years. The early-December games for six classifications will be played on the Wildcats' 61,000-seat home field for the first time since 1976. Lexington was the finals' original home, with contests at Stoll Field from 1959-66 and 1968-72.

Also, Kentucky's girls' Sweet 16 basketball tournament will return to Northern Kentucky's BB&T Arena next year before moving to Lexington's Rupp Arena for 2019 and 2020.

Pitino, U of L Responses Rebut NCAA Escort Allegations

Jan 26, 2017
University of Louisville

The University of Louisville is disputing the NCAA's allegation that Rick Pitino violated head coach responsibility in monitoring staffer Andre McGee's activities that resulted in a sex scandal and subsequent investigation by the governing body.

The school on Wednesday released responses submitted last week to NCAA accusations of four violations and criticism of Pitino for failing to monitor the former Cardinals basketball staffer alleged by an escort to have hired her and others for sex parties with recruits and players.

Another Petrino To Lead WKU Football?

Dec 8, 2016
WKU Media Relations

National reports say Western Kentucky University is reaching out to a familiar name for its vacant football head coaching position. CBS Sports says WKU has spoken with Idaho coach Paul Petrino.

Steve Roberts/WKU Athletics

Anthony Wales ran for 111 yards and four touchdowns as Western Kentucky overpowered Florida International 49-21 on Saturday night.

The Hilltoppers (7-3, 5-1) remained atop the East Division of Conference USA and wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard first, going 76 yards in 10 plays with Quinton Baker scoring from 10 yards away with 9:51 left in the opening quarter.

The Hilltoppers went up 14-0 on the next series when Wales scored the first of his touchdowns, getting into the end zone from a yard out. That touchdown came two plays after WKU used a double-reverse throwback screen from quarterback Mike White to Nicholas Norris that gained 33 yards to the Florida International 7.

FIU (3-7, 3-3) tried to stay in the game, cutting the Hilltoppers lead to 14-7 with seven seconds to go in the first quarter on quarterback Maurice Alexander's 2-yard run.

Jude Abbadessa was 5 for 5 with six RBIs to lead Endwell, New York past Bowling Green 13-10 on Wednesday night for a place in the U.S. championship game of the Little League World Series.

Abbadessa hit a two-run homer to center field to give New York a 4-3 lead in the second inning. Conner Rush walked with two outs, got to second and third on wild pitches, and scored on Jack Hopko's single for a 5-3 lead.

New York put runners on first and third with two outs in the third to chase Kentucky starter Devin Obee. On the second pitch from the reliever, Abbadessa had a RBI double to left field for a 6-4 lead and scored on Rush's bases-loaded, two-run single.

Abbadessa sent a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line in the fourth to give New York a 10-8 lead.

Kevin Willis

A Bowling Green boxing coach wants to create new opportunities for anyone in the world to learn the sport.

Chadrick Wigle runs a small gym in Bowling Green called BGKY Boxing, and is the coach of the Western Kentucky University intramural boxing team. He says he wants to connect with anybody who would like to learn the basics of the sport known as “the sweet science.”

So he’s put online about 100 free videos he recorded of practices featuring WKU boxing club members.

“We filmed every practice of WKU since March 16th, and we put them up online,” Wigle told WKU Public Radio. “That way anybody who wants to learn boxing, all they have to do is grab their brother, cousin, sister, Dad, go to the garage, and do the same drills they’re doing.”

Wigle says the videos he posts differ from much of what is found elsewhere on the internet. He says his goal was to provide an unfiltered view of what it’s like to learn boxing fundamentals.

WKU Athletics Media Relations

Four former Western Kentucky University athletes are being inducted into the Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame in Elizabethtown.

Dwight Smith, Jim Rose, Gene Rhodes, and Harry Todd are part of the Hall’s fifth class of inductees.

Smith and Rose are being honored posthumously.

Smith is a Princeton native who led Dotson High School to the state tournament in 1963. He went on to score 1,142 career points at WKU, while averaging 11 rebounds a game.

Rose led Hazard High School to three straight Sweet 16 appearances in from 1964-66, and was named all-state in his final three high school seasons. He finished 34th on the all-time WKU scoring list, and was a key member of the school's 1971 Final Four team.

WKU Athletics

Three WKU football players were selected on the final day of the NFL draft. That ties a program record for the most players selected in the modern era. Five other players were invited to rookie camps.

Tight end Tyler Higbee was the first Hilltopper to get the call, chosen by the Los Angeles Rams with the 110th overall pick in the fourth round. Higbee became the highest offensive draft pick ever for WKU, and the first offensive player taken since 2003.

Record-setting WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty was taken by the Miami Dolphins as the 223rd pick in the draft's seventh round. The south Florida native led the nation in passing yards and passing touchdowns for the past two years.

Doughty is the first WKU quarterback ever selected in the NFL draft.

Cornerback Prince Charles Iworah rounded out the WKU selections when he was taken by the San Francisco 49ers also in the seventh round.

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