NCAA officially dropped the hammer on University of Louisville
The NCAA has denied the University of Louisville’s appeal of what the school described as “draconian penalties” last year to its men’s basketball program.
With the denial, Louisville will now have to vacate its 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance, as well as all of its wins from the 2011 to 2015 seasons.
The NCAA announced its ruling Tuesday in a press release.
Louisville President Greg Postel responded in a statement to The Courier-Journal’s Jeff Greer.
“I cannot say this strong enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong,” Postel said.
“We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case — based on NCAA precedent — that supported our argument,” he added.
With the vacating of the title and Final Four appearance, Louisville has made the wrong kind of history.
Louisville will officially be recognized as the first school to ever have to vacate a national championship in the Final Four era.
The school will also have the ignominy of having to pay back money the program received via conference revenue sharing from 2012 to 2015.
Considering that schools from major conferences can oftentimes receive millions of dollars in revenue sharing, that won’t be a small amount of money. According to multiple outlets, including ESPN, the sum could be as much as $15 million.
The punishments are a black mark on a prestigious program that was plagued by a sex scandal under former head basketball coach Rick Pitino.
The penalties levied against Louisville are the result of an NCAA investigation that found school officials guilty of numerous violations, including the hiring of strippers to entertain prospective recruits on campus from 2010 to 2014.
Pitino has denied all knowledge of any wrongdoing that happened under his stewardship.
The former Cardinals basketball coach was fired in October, though he has since sued the school for breach of contract.
With the NCAA denial, Pitino will no longer have the distinction of being the only coach in NCAA Division I basketball history to lead two different programs to a national title. His 1996 championship as coach of Kentucky will be his only one with the Louisville title in 2013 vacated.
“For 35-some-odd years I’ve had a lot of faith in the NCAA and have reacted that way accordingly as a head basketball coach in the belief of their rules,” Pitino said back in June with the punishments were first announced. “Not only is it unjust … over-the-top severe, but personally I’ve lost a lot of faith in the NCAA that I’ve had over the last 35 years with what they just did.”
When the NCAA first handed down punishments in June 2017, Postel said they “went beyond what we consider to be fair and reasonable.”
The school responded to the punishments with a 68-page appeal, which is what was officially denied Tuesday.
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