Member Login

If Norse Win, Jeff Ruby will Buy Steaks for All NKU Students

Famed Cincinnati restaurateur Jeff Ruby just upped the ante in Friday's Northern Kentucky-Kentucky match-up in the NCAA Tournament.

You could say, Ruby just raised "the steaks".

The owner of such popular restaurants as the Precinct and the former Waterfront in Covington, has pledged to buy a steak dinner at any of his iconic steakhouses for every current Northern Kentucky University student - if the #15-seeded Norse beat #2-seeded Kentucky in Indianapolis on Friday night.

This marks NKU’s first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in just their first year of Division I eligibility and Ruby wanted to recognize the achievement.

“It’s just incredible what they’ve done with their program,” Ruby said in a news release. “To climb into Division I and then make the tournament in their first year is unbelievable. I wanted to do something big to reward them – what’s better than offering a steak dinner to every student to celebrate a first round win?”

Ruby said that he is a fan of UK and a personal friend of Wildcats head coach John Calipari, but his "surrogate son" Griffin Urlage is a second-year student at NKU, and Ruby said that he is impressed with the Highland Heights university.

“NKU is virtually in our back yard and we’ve watched it grow at an amazing rate since we started building our own businesses in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky in 1981. It’s a true success story and they’re just getting started,” Ruby said.

Should the Norse topple the #2 seed Wildcats on Friday night, Ruby estimates the cost of providing a full steak dinner to 15,000 college students may well exceed $1 million.

“Yes, this could get very expensive.” Ruby admits with a smile. “But it’s important to me to show support to our hometown organizations. NKU is a real asset to the community as they continue to produce extraordinary talented leaders for our region and beyond.”

The game is scheduled for Friday, March 17, at 9:40 p.m. at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, and will be broadcast on CBS.

-Staff report

Photos: Jeff Ruby at a press conference in Covington (RCN file)

Slideshow Images & Captions: