Louisville Releases Response to NCAA's Notice of Allegations

MatthewMcGavic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville has released their response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations levied against the men's basketball program.

The Cardinals were served the notice back in May, and originally given 90 days to respond before being granted a 45 day extension over the summer. Louisville met the new Sept. 16 deadline, to which now the NCAA has until Nov. 15 to respond.

“Last week, the University of Louisville submitted its formal Response to the Notice of Allegations issued by the NCAA to the institution on May 4, 2020," the University said in a statement. "As indicated it might in its previous message on this matter, the University’s Response challenges most of the allegations—which date back to 2016—that it believes are not supported by the facts or by NCAA bylaws.

"Over the past three years, the University of Louisville initiated multiple and extensive corrective measures in response to the federal indictment which served as the genesis of the NCAA’s case, beyond those of any other university. UofL has unilaterally undertaken several significant actions to ensure all who are involved in Cardinal Athletics fully support a culture of compliance. The University looks forward to the resolution of this matter.”

The men's basketball program received one Level I and three Level II allegations stemming from the recruitment of Brian Bowen and the Adidas pay-for-play scheme during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The ensuing investigation by Louisville led them to fire athletic director Tom Jurich, head men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and assistants Kenny Johnson & Jordan Fair.

In their response, the University insisted that they were "a victim of the conspiracy, not a participant in it", and the panel "should reject the enforcement staff's dramatically overbroad theory".

Louisville believes that their Level I violation should be "characterized as a Level II violation", that their first Level II violation "should be categorized as Level III" and are outright fighting their final two Level II violations.

The allegations issued against Louisville are as follows:

  • A Level I allegation that an improper recruiting offer, and subsequent extra benefits to the family of an enrolled student athlete; and a recruiting inducement to a prospective student-athlete's non-scholastic coach/trainer, were provided by certain individuals, purportedly identified and defined by the NCAA as "representatives of the university's athletics interests", none of whom had traditional connections to the University beyond their affiliation with Adidas or professional athlete management entities, as well as by a former assistant coach and a former associate head coach;
  • A Level II allegation of recruiting violations by the same two former men's basketball coaching staff members in providing impermissible transportation and having impermissible contact in the context of recruitment-related activities;
  • A Level II allegation that the institution failed to adequately monitor the recruitment of an incoming, high-profile student-athlete;
  • A Level II allegation that the former head men's basketball coach did not satisfy his head coach responsibility when he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

The University's 75-page redacted release, plus supplemental materials, can be viewed here.

(Photo of Rick Pitino: Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports)

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