Caracter, a highly regarded 6'9 forward, did not travel with the team to Canada last month for a three game exhibition tour while the school looked into the matter. One of the highest rated high school players Rick Pitino has ever signed, Caracter will miss the Cardinals' Nov. 18 game against Northwestern State, Nov. 24 against Dayton in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Dec. 2 against Sacramento State.
Caracter will continue to work out with the team and will be able to play in U of L's two exhibition games: Nov. 1 vs. Georgetown (Ky.) College and Nov. 19 against Kentucky Wesleyan. He will take the court for the first time this season when the Cardinals face Arizona in the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 5 at New York's Madison Square Garden.
"That's the decision and we will move forward. It's behind us now," said U of L Coach Rick Pitino.
Friday, the NCAA released this statement about Caracter:
Caracter, a freshman at Louisville, will be required to sit out three games during the current season for receiving benefits from a family friend during the summer prior to his freshman year. The family friend is a former employee of a sports agency. Caracter had repaid the loan in question prior to today's ruling by the NCAA.
According to the facts of the case submitted by Louisville, Caracter was loaned $2,164.49 for various travel-related expenses for two basketball camps and an unofficial visit to Louisville as a prospective student-athlete by a family friend. During the student-athlete reinstatement process, the University of Louisville cited that the loans did not take place while the family friend was employed by a sports agent, as well as the fact that the loan had been repaid. In addition, the university notes that the acquaintance knew Caracter prior to his ninth-grade year and had a close relationship with him and his family for several years, including dating his aunt and living in the same house with him for a period of time.
"In assessing Mr. Caracter's responsibility for this violation, the staff determined that he had some culpability, however, based on the dating relationship the individual had with his aunt and the fact that the benefits were provided after his employment with the sports agent had ended, only a minimal withholding was warranted," said Jennifer Strawley, NCAA director of membership services and student-athlete reinstatement. "Reinstatement is a delicate balance of addressing the benefit or competitive advantage gained with student-athlete well being. In this instance, requiring repayment – which Caracter had already fulfilled – as well as requiring him to sit out 10 percent of the season adequately addresses Mr. Caracter's responsibility for the violation while considering the specific factors of the case."
During the reinstatement process, the NCAA reinstatement staff considers a number of factors including guidelines established by the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement, any relevant case precedent, the student-athlete's responsibility for the violation, as well as any mitigating factors presented by the institution.
Caracter repaid the loan in question with the family friend prior to the NCAA's ruling on the matter. U of L will not appeal the decision.