LOUISVILLE, Ky. WDRB -- The University of Louisville Athletic Association voted today to approve a $71.5 million budget, the largest in school history, while also voting to contribute $2 million in athletic endowment money for university-wide staff raises.

"The staff here is what keeps this place moving," U of L athletic director Tom Jurich said. "We appreciate all they do, and we're happy to do our part in a difficult time."

The contribution is a one-time payment, though U of L president James Ramsey indicated he'd seek to continue the arrangement. Other money for the university-wide raises will come from the sale of land for University Park Apartments along Eastern Parkway.

The budget also includes a $2 per ticket price increase for men's basketball season tickets, though the overall package price ($669) decreases from last season ($775) because the Cardinals will play four fewer home games in the KFC Yum! Center next season.

U of L is projecting $21.755 million in football revenue next season (up from $18.6 million last season), and expects slightly lower basketball revenue with fewer home games.

Other highlights from the meeting:

-- U of L faculty athletic representative Elaine Wise said that all but two of U of L's men's and women's athletic programs posted a team grade-point average of 3.0 or better.

-- Cardinal basketball player Gorgui Dieng was named a student representative to the athletic association board of directors. Dieng follows Kyle Kuric, who served on the board last year.

-- Jurich said work on the baseball stadium expansion could begin as early as today, with baseball season now completed.

-- He also said that U of L is in the final planning stages of a $16 million stand-alone soccer stadium across from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.  "We're at the 99 percent mark," Jurich said. "That's a major piece to our facilities plan."

-- Courtney Trimble, former head coach at University of Central Florida, was introduced as new women's golf coach, and Jurich said she'll arrive on campus tomorrow.

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