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UofL appeal: NCAA ruling is “draconian”; Final Four participants should be eligible

The University of Louisville’s appeal to the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions is now online for all to see, and it’s a real gem of a read.

Most notably, the university calls the committee’s decision “draconian” and “grossly disproportionate,” while arguing its members of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 basketball teams did not receive any significant benefits and should not be ruled ineligible for the small role they played in the misconduct.

An excerpt from the full report, courtesy of the good people at the Courier-Journal:

The Committee on Infractions (COI), however, imposed a further and much more draconian set of punishments. In addition to punishing the institution for this conduct, it found that the student-athletes–the very same “minors” whom the COI rightly thought McGee had taken advantage of–were rendered ineligible by McGee’s actions, and that every one of their victories should be vacated and every dollar received from NCAA tournament games in which they participated should be disgorged. That cannot be right. The student-athletes were not culpable for McGee’s conduct, and they received no meaningful benefit or advantage from it. Had the University known of what McGee did, it would have quickly obtained their reinstatement– athlete remaining on the team when the violations came to light. It is unjust, and grossly disproportionate, to wipe away the entirety of these students’ collegiate athletic careers because of parties that they had no part in creating and no choice in attending. And it is unquestionably unfair to the many team members who had no involvement in McGee’s activities at all.

The COI further erred by issuing these enormous penalties without weighing several critical factors. The Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC) has repeatedly said that the COI “must” assign an institution’s corrective and cooperative efforts 3 and self-imposed punishments “substantial weight”; the COI ignored them entirely.

Louisville goes on to accuse the COI of failing to realize the magnitude of the penalties, which include hundreds of thousands of dollars (although some estimate it is more like millions), the 123 wins, the two Final Four appearances and that precious 2013 National Championship banner.

It gets better, though…

In the appeal, Louisville also makes the case that none of the players who competed in the two Final Four seasons should’ve been deemed ineligible because they did not have sex. One player, whose name is redacted, is mentioned as being present at a party, but leaving before the striptease began.

[Redacted] left the room before any striptease began; benefits below the NCAA’s restitution threshold; [Redacted] shielded by the COI’s grant of limited immunity. Furthermore, not one student who later competed in the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons engaged in a sex act. Even if these student-athletes were technically ineligible, they would unquestionably have been reinstated.

Let’s have another good laugh!

Louisville disputed the dollar values assigned to the “benefits” — in this case, stripper stuff — arguing that they should be valued the same:

The University disputed the dollar values the NOA assigned to some of the “benefits.” In several cases the enforcement staff assigned different values to the same act–for instance, valuing a dance at $175 in one case and $125 in another–based on the fact that Powell had notated them differently in her journal.

As the University explained, these differences were arbitrary, and the identical benefits should be valued similarly. It therefore determined, among other things, that had received benefits valued at $125, rather than $175, as the enforcement staff alleged.

Anything under $500, like a lapdance, should be paid back and the player should be reinstated, right? LOL.

Where a student-athlete receives a benefit of little value–such as a recruiting inducement worth $500 or less–the committee instructs that he should be reinstated without any loss of competition upon repayment.


It would be absurd, and grossly disproportionate, to hold that an individual who receives an unwanted and minor benefit during recruitment–say, a car ride worth $150–should have his entire collegiate record nullified if that conduct is discovered years later.

To summarize the long argument, UofL argues the NCAA went against its own standards and longstanding practice by punishing the student-athletes who were not culpable of the events that resulted in the violations; those student-athletes, UofL claims, were only guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time during Andre McGee’s misconduct. There’s also the hilarious argument of the actual dollar value of each act committed, which is laughable.

The entire appeal is tough to read with so many redacted names, but it argues that members of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 team left the parties before receiving any benefit (aka they didn’t do sex stuff, therefore they did not benefit from the parties).

While UofL agrees McGee’s acts were reprehensible, it believes the student-athletes were unknowingly put into the situation, and that the university’s self-imposed penalties should be enough.

“No prior decision has ever imposed vacation or disgorgement because of an extra-benefits or inducement violation for which the student-athletes bore such limited culpability, gained so little of value, and received no advantage,” the appeal reads.

I must admit: it’s a good try by Louisville — they even dug up several similar cases at other schools from NCAA history books — but I’m not sure it’s going to work.

Arguing that the sex acts were within the $500 threshold of reinstatement isn’t going to cut it.

Read all 68 pages of UofL’s desperate attempt at trying to salvage its two crowning basketball seasons here.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

19 Comments for UofL appeal: NCAA ruling is “draconian”; Final Four participants should be eligible

  1. eRUPPtion
    5:57 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    Hookerville argues the players were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s how every violation is. Hookerville is run by dolts 😂😂😂

  2. eRUPPtion
    6:21 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    The Universities defense is as dumb as it’s fan base. Clearly they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. That is how NCAA violations happen. Many recruits took the cash & used that cash. This is the worst defense on Earth. 😂😂😂

  3. TBW3011
    6:29 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    National laughing stock.

  4. david8577
    7:04 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    UofL is complete trash. Take your punishment like a man and move on.

    • Reuben Cuban
      9:21 am August 12, 2017 Permalink

      uavel is lil bro commuter college. Always has been; always will be.

  5. Realme
    7:06 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    It’s amazing how tone deaf they are. I don’t think there’s anything in that argument that would do anything but strengthen the committee’s resolve to punish them.

  6. Rixter
    7:45 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    Scandal U (U of L): “That cannot be right”.

    NCAA Committee on Infractions (COI): “Oh, it be right”.

  7. InigoMontoya
    7:58 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    The Russians did it.

  8. Collie
    8:33 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    I’m tired of hearing and reading about this. It was wrong, anyway you look at it. Is they monetary values a question? Yea maybe. Was the whole scandal some sort of recruiting advantage that is pretty well documented, agreed upon by both parties? Both sides seem to agree to that. Admission of guilt is admission of guilt. If one player played in any of the proposed retracted games the games must be written off. Come on Louisville, give up. And this did not go on several years without someone hearing about it that could have put an end to it immediately. Was it pittino? Humm, his moral carractor is pretty well out there. I’m ready to go build a piramid of chicken buckets to the rafters and snatch the banner down myself! Who whit me!?!?

  9. John Henry
    9:15 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    This is truly hard to believe. An alleged institution of higher learning “asking for mercy from the court” goes on the attack and uses words like “draconian”. This is like a convicted criminal asking a judge to reconsider the court’s decision by calling the court unjust and unfair and backward thinking. What?

  10. Lip Man 1
    11:01 pm August 11, 2017 Permalink

    I would not be at all surprised if this scenario played out.

    The NCAA rules against Louisville. Louisville then promptly sues the NCAA, gets a judge in Louisville to grant a temporary restraining order and the case is dragged through the courts for literally years.

    Meanwhile as due process is taking place the title banner remains in place.

    Matt being a lawyer perhaps can talk about this scenario and if it seems a potential reality.

    • ukjaybrat
      8:26 am August 14, 2017 Permalink

      pretty sure after the appeals court, louisville has to comply with punishment. they can still sue but it won’t drag out the punishment any,

  11. ClutchCargo
    1:15 am August 12, 2017 Permalink

    UofLittlebrother is like a golf ball sitting on a tee. IF the NCAA has any balls at all, UofL is about to be made an example.

    • Reuben Cuban
      9:36 am August 12, 2017 Permalink

      While I agree with you, it seems logical that Tom Jurich my should bear a substantial burden, then Pitino, and then the program. The university should also be held most responsible for hiring and promoting crookedness.

  12. VMI1957
    8:30 am August 12, 2017 Permalink

    We all know what the NCAA is capable of doing….nothing. Look at the UNC Academic scandal. What did they do there? Nothing. Look at the Univ of Miami scandal with the boosters. What did they do there? Nothing. So now we’re looking at the Dirty Birds….what will happen with them? Nothing.

  13. sp
    9:05 am August 12, 2017 Permalink

    I hope UK fans aren’t too upset when they win the appeal. The NCAA got their pound of flesh when they announced the punishment. They couldn’t care less if the punishment actually stands.

    • Reuben Cuban
      9:46 am August 12, 2017 Permalink

      In all liklihood, uavel – lil bro – wins the appeal.

      But uavel – lil bro – has lost in the eyes of America.

      What a shit show of sheer and continual crookedness.

  14. snarkster
    10:36 pm August 12, 2017 Permalink

    If the penalty is Draconian it’s only because Louisville sucks so hard.