Louisville to vacate basketball records from 2011-15, including '13 national title

Kristopher Nichols
February 21, 2018

The NCAA announced Tuesday that Louisville would have to vacate its 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance stemming from the escort recruiting scandal.

As a result of today's ruling, the Cardinals will become the first time in modern Division I men's basketball history to vacate a title.

"I can not say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong", Louisville interim President Dr. Greg Postel said in a statement. "While we disagree with the NCAA's decision, it is time for the university to close this chapter and move forward with a stronger commitment to excellence on and off the court".

"It is important to note that a precedent for such a case does not exist, and the NCAA infractions committee has wide discretion as it determines penalties".

The punishment follows a 2015 investigation that found a basketball team staffer paid prostitutes to have sex with the school's athletes and recruits and also had striptease dancers perform for them.

Pitino has plenty of connections to the New England and MA area, as he played at UMass and coached Boston University, Providence College and the Boston Celtics before arriving at Louisville.

Pitino, who held the distinction of being the only coach to guide two Division I men's programs to national titles (Kentucky in 1996 and Louisville in 2013), denied knowledge of what McGee was doing.

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The Cardinals will have to vacate 123 victories including the championship, and return some $600,000 in conference revenue from the 2012-15 NCAA Tournaments.

"The members of the Infractions Appeals Committee who heard this case were Jack Friedenthal, professor emeritus at George Washington; W. Anthony Jenkins, attorney in private practice; Patti Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs at Texas; and David Williams, committee chair and vice chancellor for athletics and university affairs and athletics director at Vanderbilt". He also said the NCAA ruling doesn't take away any accomplishments of the basketball team or the joy they brought.

"I can not say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong", Postel said.

"We'll remove the official recognition, but it won't remove it from our hearts and minds", Louisville interim athletics director Vince Tyra said during a news conference held shortly after the NCAA's announcement. "The pain this decision has created for our fans and the players who were not involved in the events in question is the most regretful result of this determination".

Postel said Tuesday that Louisville offered complete cooperation with the NCAA investigation in this matter and that the NCAA's own rules encourage cooperation with the inference that penalties might be mitigated. Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave and former AD Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave September 27 following the school's involvement in the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe that initially involved the arrests of 10 people. "Instead it was ignored".

"The university under prior leadership never made excuses for what took place", he said.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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