UofL Basketball announces self-imposed post-season ban

02/05/2016 01:42 PM

University President James Ramsey said after looking at the updates from the NCAA investigation it was reasonable to conclude there were violations. Athletic Director Tom Jurich said they first saw the evidence of wrongdoing yesterday.

Jurich and Ramsey joined Louisville Men’s Basketball head coach Rick Pitino as they addressed the media Friday afternoon.

Ramsey read the following statement:

When the University first learned of allegations against our men’s basketball program, it initiated the University’s existing processes to undertake a complete and thorough review of information concerning potential violations of NCAA legislation. This included hiring Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group who has extensive experience in NCAA inquiries. I also activated the University of Louisville Investigative Committee, which includes three faculty members. Soon thereafter, the institution and the NCAA began a joint inquiry. The committee and I were provided regular updates on its progress.

Yesterday, as chair of the investigative committee, I received the most recent update. Based upon the available information gathered by the NCAA Enforcement Staff and the University of Louisville, I determined that it was reasonable to conclude violations had occurred in the men’s basketball program in the past.

After consulting with Director of Athletics Tom Jurich, we made the decision to withhold the men’s basketball program from all conference and NCAA postseason competition following the 2015-16 men’s basketball season. I recognize that this is a significant penalty for our program and will be a disappointment to our student athletes and to many in the UofL family—our students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and our fans.

The University is continuing to cooperate with the NCAA on the resolution of this matter and will evaluate the information as the inquiry continues.

While this was a difficult decision, it was made in the best interest of our University community. We will be able to provide additional information surrounding the inquiry and this decision at its conclusion. Given the ongoing inquiry, and in accordance with NCAA bylaws, we cannot comment further at this time.

I want to assure our students, faculty and staff that we remain focused on our educational mission and state mandate. We continue to provide our students the very best learning environment that allows for them to be successful. We remain focused on our research programs and service to our community.

Finally, I continue to support Tom Jurich, Coach Pitino and the outstanding student-athletes in our men’s basketball program.

The announcement comes in the middle of the NCAA’s investigation of self-proclaimed Louisville escort Katina Powell’s claims that she provided escorts and strippers to the Louisville Basketball team in exchange for thousands of dollars from a former basketball staffer.

The team was informed just before the news conference. Coach Pitino said telling his players was very painful. He said as they told them about the penalty they all got up and hugged graduate transfers Damion Lee and Trey Lewis. Those two came to Louisville for their last year of eligibility and hopes of playing in a NCAA tournament.

The Louisville basketball team is currently 18-4, 7-2 in the ACC and ranked 18th in the nation. The team is fresh off a win over second ranked North Carolina, and are now firmly in second place in the conference.


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