Louisville men's basketball coach Chris Mack has been suspended six games without pay for his failure to follow university guidelines and procedures in dealing with former assistant Dino Gaudio's extortion attempt, the school announced on Friday.
While Mack was a victim in the extortion attempt by Gaudio, his sanctions are unrelated to the extortion attempt itself and the ongoing NCAA process, according to a statement from the university.
“I regret that any of my unintentional actions or failures to follow University guidelines have brought unnecessary attention to our outstanding athletics programs and University,” Mack said. “I understand that I could have handled matters differently and therefore I accept this suspension.
"While it will kill me to be away from our basketball family in November, I will do everything possible to set them up for success before and after my time away, and I am fully confident that our coaches, staff and student-athletes will rise to the occasion.”
Mack will serve his suspension from Nov. 7 to Nov. 28, when Louisville plays six non-conference games including two in the Bahamas. During the suspension, Mack will not have access to the team's coaching staff or student-athletes and will forfeit approximately $221,000 in compensation.
“As I have said since the beginning of my tenure, we have high expectations for all of our staff members and coaches and we hold people accountable for their actions,” said U of L Vice President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra.
"While we have made great strides over the last four years in changing the culture in our Department of Athletics, we cannot afford to have any setbacks, no matter how big or small, in our pursuits. I am confident that Coach Mack now understands the impact of his actions. We all have confidence in him moving forward."
Gaudio, 64, pleaded guilty to a federal charge of attempted extortion and avoided prison time by accepting a one-year probation and a $10,000 fine in June. He was dismissed from the program with another assistant coach in March after Louisville missed the NCAA Tournament.
In August, court documents from attorney Brian Butler revealed that Gaudio attempted to confront Mack regarding the alleged NCAA violations early in the summer of 2020.
According to the document, Gaudio was informed that he would not have his contract renewed due to "poor chemistry" on March 17. As a result, Gaudio threatened to go public with the alleged NCAA violations, unless he was granted a lump sum of 17 months salary.
Mack, according to the document, agreed to pay Gaudio his 17-month salary either "through the University of Louisville or personally, if necessary". Gaudio tried to meet with Mack on Mar. 18 but was not able to reach him. As a result, Louisville self-reported the violations.
Gaudio will officially be sentenced on Friday.
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