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MUNCIE, Ind.–Ball State University says it will not remove the name of the Papa John’s founder, John Schnatter, from its Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise. 

 On July 11, it was reported that Schnatter used the “N” word during a conference call with marketing agency Laundry Services in May, by saying “Colonel Sanders called blacks the “N” word and Sanders never faced public outcry”. After the call, the owner of the marketing agency moved to end their contract with Papa John’s. 

Ball State issued a statement saying:  

In our experience with John, he has never expressed racist views.  He has demonstrated himself to be an individual who is very appreciative of his fortunate situation and cares deeply about creating an environment in which all enterprising individuals have the opportunity to succeed. 

John has acknowledged, notwithstanding his intentions, that his use of the word was inappropriate. His response was to promptly issue an apology and unequivocally denounce racism. He has reaffirmed those views to us personally, and such sentiment is consistent with Ball State’s values.

You can read the full statement here

Schnatter said he has “no confidence” in the current management team at the pizza chain, including the CEO he handpicked as his successor, after executives forced him to resign last month because of the conference call. 

Schnatter is from Jeffersonville, Indiana and graduated from Ball State in 1983. 


(PHOTO: Michael Hickey/Getty Images)