Four year probation period includes games played with ineligible players from November 2010 through July 2014
ESPN and other media outlets and websites reported what is the first wave of sanctions against Rick Pitino and the Louisville men’s basketball program.
On Thursday morning, the laundry list of sanctions includes but is not limited to the following:
- A four year probation period starting in November 2017 and continuing into the 2020-2021 school year
- Head Coach Rick Pitino will be suspended from coaching the first five ACC games in January 2018
- Former assistant Andre McGee was given a ten year show of cause penalty. This means McGee cannot apply for any NCAA type job until June 2027 at the earliest.
What was not mentioned at all was which specific games ineligible players played between November 2010 and March 2014. In an Outside the Lines report on ESPN, some recruits who attended the parties where Katrina Powell led her sexual encounters inside some of the Louisville dorms were under the age of 18.
Remember, this ruling from the NCAA is not without precedent. Syracuse, Kentucky, and separately years ago with SMU football in the 1980’s have had similar or harsher penalties.
As expected, Louisville proceeded with fighting the charges and they have 45 days to file a formal dispute.
What ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg mentioned on Thursday afternoon is what other shoes might drop in reference to the pending academic cheating scandal at North Carolina:
“Will this be enough to take down the banner? North Carolina is simply waiting for something to happen.”
The Louisville Cardinals 2013 national championship could be subject to more questioning in the days and weeks going forward.
Thinking big picture here for a moment…
If any CEO of any organization feels inside his/her mind that they are running a clear ship free of any problems large or small and out of nowhere–without their knowledge they are handed a memo or worse, shown a video clip on their smartphone of a CMO or similar high ranking position doing things against the company rules with a secretary outside of business hours, the blame clearly falls with the CEO for failing to comply.
Rick Pitino is one of a handful of great coaches in basketball, I don’t care if you are talking college or in the NBA. What we don’t know is how much he was in on what Andre McGree did in arranging for the strippers to visit with the recruits.
Through it all, Pitino continues to take the high road in standing firm that he did not see anything out of the ordinary happen behind closed doors. It is such a shame we live in a society where mostly strange things happening are suddenly the norm and honesty for the most part is given the cold shoulder.
And if the NCAA acted even for a brief moment like most respectable organizations, the penalties would have been way harsher than this. Will possible ineligibility to play in the 2018 ACC and NCAA Tournaments not be too far behind?
In the court of public opinion, myself and other fans who answer that proverbial questions would tend to do the same things that Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Friends do most of the time on America’s Got Talent–say a resounding “Yes.”
This story is not over. It will be interesting to see what happens next at the school as a whole and especially with the working of the men’s basketball program, normally one of the nation’s top 40 programs in the country year in and year out.