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The NCAA Rejects UofL’s Defense of Pitino


In a 118-page response to the University of Louisville, the NCAA denies that Rick Pitino adequately monitored Andre McGee.  First reported by WDRB, the NCAA stated:

“Pitino did not supplement his trust in McGee with frequent spot-checks, including actively looking for and evaluating red flags, asking pointed questions and regularly soliciting honest feedback to determine if monitoring systems existed or were functioning properly.”

It’s one of the many positions the NCAA disputes with the university.  This response contains forceful language:

“Put simply,” the NCAA said, “arranging and funding sexual intercourse for a prospective student athlete on an official visit is a severe violation, wholly inconsistent with NCAA principles, whether valued at $80 or $120.”

For more, read the WDRB report, which includes the response from the NCAA in its entirety.  This post will be updated with further details.

UPDATE: The university’s statement regarding the NCAA’s response:

“We continue to regret that NCAA legislation was violated by a former UofL employee. His behavior was shameful and wrong. This behavior is the reason we self-imposed severe penalties on ourselves. In this latest correspondence, the NCAA Enforcement Staff’s Response reiterates its previous position and, in fact, makes clear that the allegation does not state that Coach Pitino should have detected or known about the violations. We have faith in the NCAA process and look forward to demonstrating at the hearing that Coach Pitino properly monitored his staff.”

UPDATE: This portion of the response makes Pitino’s plausible deniability defense much more difficult to believe, form Jason Riley of WDRB.



UPDATE: Former UofL assistant and current N.C. State head coach Kevin Keatts has a quote worth sharing: “everybody assumed that everybody was doing the right thing.”

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

27 Comments for The NCAA Rejects UofL’s Defense of Pitino

  1. RealCatsFan
    4:26 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    Do you hear that sound? Shhhh…

    It’s the clucking of the chickens coming home to roost. 🙂

    I have to say – if the NCAA hammers UofL, but lets UNC skate by with the fake classes, I am still going to be pissed.

  2. KTR2786
    4:29 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    How could the banner not come down and how sweet will it be after hearing the mantra from the UofL fans about the same fate that was awaiting us in the future? The Cards’ misfortunes continue to deliver delicious, ironic entertainment.

  3. oruacat2
    4:34 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    That’s the first time I’ve seen Wayne Turner’s name mixed up in this mess.

  4. kenny
    4:37 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    If they don’t take that title, I hope someone pulls a Andy Dufresne and writes them everyday until they explain that it’s ok to cheat, as long as you win the title.

  5. leon singleton
    4:49 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    Why hasn’t North Carolina been nailed?

    • Han
      5:36 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

      Can only guess they’re getting the Wooden treatment to preserve Smith’s legacy.

      The amount of evidence linking the basketball program to the fake classes, plus a former player outright admitting all the stuff we were hearing…it’s ludicrous. Even the university basically admitted all of it happened (blaming it on one professor and an advisor or two, like UL’s trying to blame it all on a former staff member). UNC’s defense has always been, “It wasn’t just athletes so it’s not an extra benefit.” Nevermind the percentage largely favored athletes, and if it’s ok to do fake classes as long as you let in non-athletes, well, guess what the new trend in college basketball will be? Especially since they didn’t lose accreditation. And everyone knows there was still more there that no report touched since the investigations stopped at a certain year and only checked the AFAM department (despite one of the scapegoats being tied to another department).

      Oh well, at least Psycho-T has the experience of two Swahili classes..

  6. BluKudzu
    4:56 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    Here is the thing for me; UK got two years for a coach that sent $1000.00 to a player. This scandle with hookers inMinardi is FAR worse than what UK has ever done. There has got to be a huge hammer coming down for Louisville, Pitino, and even perhaps Jurich.
    I hope this will set NCAA precedence. I hope it puts shivers in every spine of college basketball.

    • BluKudzu
      5:13 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

      Just one more thing, is the 3 players from U of L that chose to enter the draft early a coincidence or do they know something is coming?

  7. BlueDeuce
    4:58 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    I would have to say the $4!T is about to hit the fan in UofL land!

    As far as UNC goes…I cannot for the life of me understand why they have not been hit already? Guess ol’Roy has an “in” at the NCAA…

  8. 8xchamp
    5:06 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    Part of the punishment should be rick has to get that back tattoo covered with a uk logo for 96. Or he can’t coach anymore. And also a vacate the title.

  9. Rod Crandler
    5:09 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    UofL is in big trouble. Maybe Pitino can put the banner in his trunk when he drives off. As far as UNC…much more complicated case. Problem with that one is you have to determine what a “fake” class is. I know lots of people that went to class a couple times and then just show up for a final that everyone cheated on. Another problem is, there are a lot of schools that don’t want the NCAA snooping around for similar issues.

  10. catinkville
    5:15 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    If the players are declared ineligible because they received impermissible benefits, that means the wins should be vacated and the banner should come down. If Louisville is allowed to keep their wins and the championship from 2012, then it is a travesty. Cal has wins at Memphis and UMass and Final Fours vacated for players individual actions that were out of his or the universities control (getting an agent and cheating on the ACT/SAT). Thomas More College’s women basketball had to vacate a championship over a player staying with a coach and family friend while recovering from an injury. What happened at Louisville was infinitely worse and deserving of a far greater punishment. My already razor thin faith in the NCAA’s ability to apply punishments fairly and equally will disintegrate and the organization will be nothing but a circus act not to be taken seriously.

    • Han
      5:38 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

      NCAA hasn’t vacated a championship in the revenue sports that I’m aware of. Closest thing is when USC lost their title because of Bush, but the NCAA didn’t take it.

      But if they do take UL’s, they have to take at least one of UNC’s dirty ones.

  11. 2thepoint
    5:27 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    UL’s comment about their punishment is laughable as is their continued defense of the coach. They are in deep stuff. Just guessing, but if other punishments are a guide they will lose more scholarships and may have to fire Pitino (thinking of TN and SMU). They should have to vacate a title and Pitino will have to vacate as many or more games than did Boheim. I think his was 100.

    The last correspondence the NCAA had with UNC was at least 2 months ago so I think we should hear more about that case soon.

  12. TBW3011
    5:41 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    Waiting on UNC is frustrating, but I’m being patient with the new people in place at the top of the NCAA. Initial indications seem to be they don’t play anymore. We shall see.

    • 2thepoint
      5:43 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

      Like you waiting, but also encouraged by the last letter from them to UNC.

  13. shelby
    5:57 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    These are the most disgusting and egregious iolations i’ve ever heard of. If they don’t ban the cards from another year of post season as well as reduce scholarships, then the ncaa is a joke. Vacating the title and wins is NOT punishment–it is simply records correction! It is not a punishment.

    • donjohnson
      8:47 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

      It’s all ridiculous. I think vacating wins and paying all revenue back made in the involved years would be alright. Decreasing schollys and bans just hurt players now who were not involved

  14. ukkatzfan
    8:48 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    If Pitino loses his job, surely a “show cause” will be attached to him for a time period. Too bad. So sad.

  15. jaws2
    8:59 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    I just hope it’s tough enough that we can continue to laugh at that morally and legally corrupt institution forEVER!

    • CATandMONKEY
      9:32 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

      Regardless of the punishement, eternal laughter is already justified.

  16. Blue Jesus
    9:47 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    I wonder if it’s a coincidence this news came after they got knocked out of the tournament. In other words, do you think they were sitting on this response until after the UofL season ended?

    Similarly, is it a coincidence this got released just a few hours before the first game of the Sweet Sixteen, a la Crean’s dismissal a few minutes into game one of the tourney?

  17. dballrb
    10:24 pm March 23, 2017 Permalink

    The NCAA isn’t going to do anything to unc,not a precious Carolina school. Cory magette or however you spell his name,took thousands in “extra”benefits,and nothing… McCants from Unc told all,…. crickets is all that will ever be heard….late.

  18. mcp157
    8:50 am March 24, 2017 Permalink

    The thing about all of this is that Tom Jurich has, for the most part, dodged the bullet for this. He is the one who sets the table. He rehired a known scumbag, Petrino, he allows another to keep his job after the scandalous affair and thus setting an environment up that allows for something like this prostitute thing to occur. He is where the buck stops. If U of L had any integrity it would fire him and Pitino and reshuffle the deck. However, we all know that won’t happen because they are making so much money currently and an athletic director with an Al Davis mentality, ” just win baby”, rules the culture. I know UK fans have bitched a lot about Barnhart in the past and he has made a few bad moves, but over all the athletic department is being run above board, as far as we know. Thanks Mitch for your integrity.

  19. STLouisBBFan
    8:52 am March 24, 2017 Permalink

    The Ville and Pitino should get hammered as this is the worst type of violations – even worse than paperless classes because it involved the mistreatment of non-players – imo. Given the Memphis decision regarding an “inelligible” player, the wins have to be voided and the banner has to come down. No other conclusion makes sense. That said, I think you will find less joy in that fact than you expect. Those players did win that tournament just like Cal’s teams won those Final Four games. It’s a hollow victory if you count it a victory.

  20. ukgags86
    11:33 am March 24, 2017 Permalink

    UNC is little more complicated and they are seriously lawyered up at the same time. At a 10,000′ level, UNC is saying that it was not a benefit to athletes because it was available to all students. Yes approximately 50% of the kids that took the class were athletes and yes, at least one of the basketball teams that won a championship had a ridiculous % of members that took at least one of those classes. I think they only had one or two student athletes season that had not taken any African American studies classes. The lawyers also argued that the NCAA has no jurisdiction into how easy or difficult a class should be as it is an accreditation issue not a compliance issue. That is why the NCAA initially amended the violations and reset the clock for them as they took all of the teeth out of the allegations and mostly blamed womens basketball and the golf team I think.

    Now where it gets interesting is that UNC got greedy and when the NCAA came across weak, they filed more motions and appeals with the NCAA basically telling them that regardless of the fake classes, it was not a benefit to only athletes and the NCAA should drop all charges. They did it in a way that emasculated the NCAA. The NCAA decided to then amend the violations again which also “reset” the clock again but this tie they added all the charges back including the allegations about the football and basketball teams.

    Finally, a third very interesting point that the Raleigh News and Observer (local paper) reported was that many players on the basketball team actually received degrees in African American studies. Since these classes were virtual / professor less / self study classes, a student can only take “X” number of those classes and have those credits count towards graduation. Somehow, several athletes (Rashad McCants as an example) have a crazy high % of these self study classes. By UNC’s own bylaws, only like 15 credit hours should count towards graduation. Apparently the athletes “did” receive special benefits in that some received actual diplomas that a regular student would not be able to receive because only a few of their fake classes would count towards a diploma versus a much higher % for athletes.

    I get to follow it since I am a KY transplant to NC but I still have my fingers crossed that UNC gets hit hard. They cheated! No ifs ands or buts!