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With Rick Pitino Out of the Picture, Louisville Loses Two Five-Stars from 2018 Recruiting Class

Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey backed out of their pledges to Louisville as scandal enveloped the university and head coach Rick Pitino once again.

Louisville has lost its two recruits set to join the program next season. Anfernee Simons, a 6'3", 165-pound guard who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., announced Wednesday that he has rescinded his verbal commitment to the Cardinals. Soon after, Courtney Ramey, a 6'3" 170-pound guard out of Webster Groves High in St. Louis, reportedly revoked his pledge.

News of the decommitments comes the same day that university interim president Greg Postel announced head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Zurich had been placed on administrative leave after the basketball program was implicated in an FBI investigation into corruption across college basketball. Postel said Pitino’s status will be determined at a later date while Jurich’s future will be addressed by the University of Louisville’s Board of Trustees on or before its next meeting on Oct. 18.

Ten people have been arrested as part of the inquiry, and a complaint alleges a Louisville assistant’s involvement in a scheme to pay a highly rated recruit a $100,000 bribe. The recruit who matches the details provided in the complaint is Brian Bowen, a five-star small forward in the class of 2017 from La Lumiere School in La Porte, Ind., who committed to the Cardinals in June. Postel said on Tuesday that Bowen has been suspended indefinitely.

Rated the No. 9 recruit in the class of 2018, according to the Recruiting Services Consensus Index, a composite that incorporates data from multiple services, Simons announced his pledge to the Cardinals last November. He also holds scholarship offers from Florida, LSU, Memphis, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, among other programs, according to his 247Sports profile.

“Due to the recent events that have taken place, my family and I have decided it’s in my best interest to de-commit from the University of Louisville,” Simons wrote in a message posted to his Twitter account. “I will be reopening my recruitment. This was a very tough decision to make and I am deeply sadden by This. I appreciate all of the support from Louisville fans.”

When he committed last November, about a year before he could sign his National Letter of Intent, Simons wrote in a message on social media “the reason I’m committing early is because I feel like it is a great fit for me, and the coaching staff made me a priority from day one.”

The RSCI rates Ramey the No. 37 prospect in the class of 2018. His father, Terrell, told on Wednesday about his son’s recruitment that “We are going to reopen it,” and added that it’s “something we have to do.” News reports mentioned Florida and Creighton as two other programs in the running for Ramey when he committed to Louisville in February.