Pitino Defends Program, Blasts NCAA Over Louisville Ruling
SAYS HE PLANS ON STAYING AND WINNING MULTIPLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on the NCAA ruling in the Louisville basketball investigation (all times local):
Louisville coach Rick Pitino blasted the NCAA’s ruling and defended his program while saying he will continue to move forward “because that’s what leaders do.”
He put much of the blame on for the men’s basketball program’s sex scandal on former director of operations Andre McGee. He says leaders “ask for forgiveness for what happened, for what one of your employees did, you’re extremely contrite.”
Pitino says he plans on staying and “winning multiple national championships, not just one.”
The NCAA suspended Pitino for the first five Atlantic Coast Conference games next season, gave Louisville four years of probation and put McGee on a 10 year show-cause penalty.
That means any school that wants to hire McGee must go before the NCAA and explain why it should do so without getting penalized.
The NCAA hasn’t vacated Louisville’s 2013 national title. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Cardinals are out of the woods.
The NCAA penalties against Louisville require the school to vacate records for any games “in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014.”
During a conference call, NCAA officials said they hadn’t vacated any specific wins or titles at this point. NCAA officials instead said they want Louisville to provide a report within 45 days detailing which games would be affected.
Players deemed ineligible would be those involved in the sex parties that led to this investigation. NCAA officials said those parties are considered impermissible benefits.
Louisville interim president Greg Postel says the school plans “to appeal all aspects of the penalties.”
Postel says in a statement the NCAA penalties are “unfair to the U of L community and our current and former student-athletes, many of whom have already paid a heavy price for actions that did not involve them.”
The NCAA suspended Louisville coach Rick Pitino for five Atlantic Coast Conference games, placed the basketball program on four years’ probation, vacated wins in which ineligible players participated and handed down a 10-year show-cause order for former basketball operations director Andre McGee.
Postel noted that former director of operations Andre McGee, who received a 10-year show cause penalty, “long ago left the university, and he has yet to cooperate with investigating officials.”
“In contrast, U of L did cooperate,” Postel said. “We wanted the NCAA enforcement staff to uncover what happened. We have been open and transparent throughout this process.”
The NCAA penalties Louisville faces include scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions, though some of these penalties were already imposed by the university.
The NCAA is requiring Louisville to reduce scholarships by four during its four-year probation. The school had self-imposed a reduction of two scholarships for 2016-17.
Louisville will be allowed no more than 16 official visits during the 2017-18 school year.
Prospects on unofficial visits won’t be allowed to spend the night in any campus dorms or school-owned property while Louisville’s on probation.
The NCAA wants Louisville to vacate records for any games “in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014.”
The NCAA says Louisville must provide a written report within 45 days detailing which games were impacted.
The NCAA has suspended Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino for five Atlantic Coast Conference games following its sex scandal investigation.
The governing body on Thursday also placed the basketball program on four years’ probation, vacated wins in which ineligible players participated and handed down a 10-year show-cause order for former basketball operations director Andre McGee.
The long-awaited announcement reiterated the NCAA’s original view that Pitino should have known about McGee’s activities with former escort Katina Powell. She alleged in a 2015 book that McGee had hired her and other escorts to strip and have sex with Louisville recruits and players.
Powell alleged that McGee paid her $10,000 for 22 shows at the Cardinals’ dormitory from 2010-14, a period that includes their NCAA title run.
Louisville and coach Rick Pitino are awaiting discipline from the NCAA on Thursday regarding a sex scandal that engulfed the men’s basketball program.
A former men’s basketball staffer is alleged to have hired strippers to entertain players and recruits.
The school met with the governing body in April and expects to hear about its penalties from the Committee on Infractions.
Louisville is alleged to have committed four violations, with Pitino charged with failing to monitor former assistant Andre McGee. The Hall of Fame coach and the school vowed to fight that allegation.
Louisville self-imposed several sanctions last year, including a postseason ban along with reducing scholarships and recruiting visits by assistant coaches. The NCAA could accept those measures or add penalties, including a possible suspension of Pitino.