FULL REPORT | NCAA Issues Ruling on Louisville Basketball Sex Scandal

06/15/2017 11:12 AM

Exactly eight weeks after the University of Louisville went before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, the NCAA has delivered its ruling on the sex scandal that centered around the basketball program from 2010 – 2014.

Key penalties imposed by the NCAA include:

  • Four years of probation for the university from June 15, 2017 to June 14, 2021
  • Rick Pitino is suspended from the first five ACC games of the 2017-2018 season
  • A 10-year show cause order for the former operations director Andre McGee
  • A vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014
  • Men’s basketball scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions
  • A fine of $5,000, plus the university must return money received through conference revenue sharing for its appearances in the 2012 to 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championships
  • The panel also accepted the university’s self-imposed 2015-16 postseason ban.

“Without dispute, NCAA rules do not allow institutional staff members to arrange for stripteases and sex acts for prospects, enrolled student-athletes and/or those who accompany them to campus,” said the panel in its decision.

The report also found Coach Rick Pitino “failed to monitor the former operations director when he created the residential environment in which the violations occurred and trusted the former operations director to follow the rules, and delegated monitoring of the former operations director to his assistant coaches without appropriate oversight.”

The report says that Pitino told the NCAA that assistant coaches were responsible for monitoring McGee. Assistant coaches were not aware of the responsibility, according to Thursday’s report.

“The panel noted that a head coach does not meet his monitoring responsibility by simply trusting an individual to know NCAA rules and to do the right thing.”

University of Louisville officials held a press conference shortly after the news was announced.

Statement from Greg Postel, UofL Interim President


Today, we received the ruling from the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Committee on Infractions in the case involving improper activities that took place in Billy Minardi Hall several years ago.

The committee has accepted our self-imposed penalties and levied additional severe penalties that we believe are excessive.

The entire UofL community is saddened by what took place. It never should have happened, and that is why the school acted to severely penalize itself in 2016. Today, however, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions went beyond what we consider to be fair and reasonable. We intend to appeal all aspects of the penalties.

The person responsible for these activities, Andre McGee, long ago left the university, and he has yet to cooperate with investigating officials. We are disappointed that he was not cooperative.

In contrast, UofL did cooperate. We wanted the NCAA Enforcement Staff to uncover what happened. We have been open and transparent throughout this process.

The NCAA knew how seriously the university treated this matter from the beginning. Once we had the facts and recognized what took place, we did the right thing by taking responsibility and imposing severe penalties on ourselves. We believe the penalties imposed today are unfair to the UofL community and our current and former student-athletes, many of whom have already paid a heavy price for actions that did not involve them. This ruling is also unfair to Coach Pitino, who we believe could not have known about the illicit activities.

This has been a very difficult period for UofL. I am confident that what happened here will never happen again. We have changed our recruitment procedures, imposed additional protections in the dorms and the staff has received additional training. It saddens me that these events took place. Nevertheless, the Committee on Infractions has gone too far and taken actions that are unwarranted. We will appeal.


Statement from Larry wilder, Attorney for Katina Powell


Today should mark the end of this process for everyone involved. The NCAA has spoken and it would seem that it’s time to learn from these events and move on.

I cannot help but wonder if the lack of contrition demonstrated by the university’s athletic staff contributed to the severity of these penalties. It seems that an immediate acceptance of responsibility by the head of the program may have softened the blow and possible sent a signal to the NCAA that there was true acceptance of responsibility.

From the outset Ms. Powell was truthful and honest about the things that took place. Again, you don’t have to accept what she did as moral but you must accept that she was honest.


Statement from Scott Tompsett on behalf of Rick Pitino


The finding against Coach Pitino is one of the weakest I’ve ever seen against a head coach.

The original allegation was that Coach Pitino failed to monitor by not actively looking for and evaluating red flags. But throughout the entire investigation and the nearly twelve-hour hearing before the Committee on Infractions, not once did either the enforcement staff or the Committee ever identify a single red flag. And today’s decision does not mention the phrase “red flag” a single time.

Instead, the decision hinges on a vaguely-worded rationale about creating an environment in which the violations eventually occurred, alleged delegating of monitoring to assistant coaches and Coach Pitino’s failure to train Mr. McGee.

But the decision does not identify a single specific thing that Coach Pitino should have done, that he wasn’t already doing, that would have either prevented or detected the illicit activities. The secret and deliberately hidden illicit activities certainly did not occur because Coach Pitino did not properly train Mr. McGee.

Today’s decision breaks with established head coach control precedent and imposes a standard of strict liability.

Coach Pitino intends to exercise his right to appeal the finding and the penalty.


Download the full report from the NCAA here: 2017INF_LouisvillePublicInfractionsDecisionF_20170615.pdf

Garrett Moore

Garrett is a Sports Producer for Spectrum News. He is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State and got his start as a sports photographer. He now produces Sports Night, the state’s only nightly show dedicated to in-depth coverage of all sports in Kentucky. Sports Night airs weeknights at 6:30 and 10:30 on Spectrum News. Outside the station, Garrett enjoys golfing, hiking, fishing, and prides himself on being all-in as a sports spectator. He won a gift card for playing an air guitar in the student section during an MTSU basketball game. Follow Garrett on Twitter @SportsNightGM for real-time sports updates or if you just want to see the shenanigans that go on behind the scenes in getting Sports Night on the air.

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