After an investigation that lasted more than a year, the University of Louisville men's basketball program has received its Notice of Allegations from the NCAA about violations that occurred in the Cardinals' program.
The school made the notice of allegations public on Thursday morning and the NCAA has hit the Cardinals' program with four Level One violations - the most serious in nature. Two of the violations were against former staffer Andre McGee and one was against head coach Rick Pitino for failure to demonstrate that he monitored McGee. The notice does not say Pitino had any knowledge of the violations.
While there are four violations, Louisville's program wasn't charged with the most severe allegation - lack of institutional control of failure to monitor. In a statement, the school said it would dispute the charge against Pitino.
Also in the statement - from athletic director Tom Jurich and interim President Dr. Neville Pinto: "As parents and university leaders who care about every student who comes to the University of Louisville, we are heartbroken that inappropriate behavior took place here. It saddens us tremendously. We promised that if something was done wrong, we would be open about it, acknowledge it, and correct it. … The NOA aligns with the results of our inquiry: improper activities took place in a dormitory that never should have occurred.
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"It is important to note what is not being alleged. The NOA does not contain an allegation that Coach Pitino had knowledge of what took place in the dormitory. The NCAA does not allege a ‘lack of institutional control’ at Louisville, a very severe allegation. The NCAA does not allege that there was a ‘failure to monitor’ against the institution, also a severe allegation. The NCAA does not allege that Coach Pitino failed to ‘promote an atmosphere of compliance’, a serious allegation. The NOA does contain a narrower allegation – which we will dispute – that Coach Pitino failed to demonstrate that he monitored Mr. McGee."
The NOA stems from the NCAAs investigation into claims that former U of L men's basketball staffer Andre McGee paid self-proclaimed madam Katina Powell and other strippers and escorts money to entertain players and recruits with dances and sex.
The investigating - the school's along with the NCAA's - started last October after Powell came out with a tell-all book "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen." It was published on Oct. 3, 2015.
The notice of allegations describes the facts in the investigation and only outlines the rules the school is alleged to have broken. The school has 90 days after receiving the NOA to respond to the NCAA.
The NCAA has 60 days to respond to the schools response. The penalty would then come when the school would go before the NCAA's committee on infractions. Several sources have told Cardinal Authority that U of L's hearing before that committee would likely not come until mid-June or even July of 2017.
Louisville immediately hired former NCAA investigator Chuck Smrt last fall and in February the school announced in a shocking twist to the case that they were self-imposing a postseason ban for last season after it was "reasonable to conclude" violations had occurred.
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The school later added more self-imposed penalties, including restrictions on scholarship numbers and recruiting visits. U of L coach Rick Pitino and his staff were not on the road recruiting for the spring evaluation period and the Cardinals are two scholarships short this season.
Pitino, who was interviewed by the NCAA in April, has been adamant that he knew nothing about the incidents - many that allegedly happened at Billy Minardi Hall - the team's dorm named after his late brother-in-law. Last week, Pitino told CBS Sports.com that he was "confident" the self-imposed penalties would be all the school would have to endure.
"It was pretty severe for us," Pitino said to CBS Sports. "Do I expect any more? I don't make those decisions, but we followed what Chuck Smrt told us the violations would incur. We feel very confident that that'll be it."