UofL BASKETBALL | NCAA maintains position that Rick Pitino failed to monitor Andree McGee

03/23/2017 05:13 PM

The University of Louisville on Thursday released the NCAA reply to the institution’s own response to the Notice of Allegations that came down in October of last year.

The notice of allegations charged Louisville with four Level I violations, one of which was disputed by U of L: that head men’s basketball coach rick Pitino failed to monitor former staffer Andre McGee who provided and paid for adult entertainment and sex acts for visiting recruits and current players.

In the NCAA’s response, the enforcement staff stuck behind the claim that Pitino should have known about the salacious acts taking place between the Spring of 2010 and April 2014.

In one excerpt of the NCAA’s reply to U of L, the document states: “Pitino did not conduct frequent spot checks to uncover potential or existing compliance problems as it relates to McGee’s interactions with prospects and student-athletes. Pitino failed to demonstrate that he actively looked for red flags, ask pointed questions or even occasionally solicited honest feedback from McGee about activities occurring under his supervision.”

The release claims “These are basic elements of a head coach’s obligation to monitor. If Pitino saw no red flags in connection with McGee’s interactions with then prospective and current student-athletes, it was because he was not looking for them.”

The enforcement staff states that Pitino delegated too much responsibility with regard to monitoring McGee to his assistant coaches. The reply states “Even if he believed it was possible or advisable to task assistant coaches with the ultimate responsibility for monitoring McGee, those assistant coaches appear to have been unaware of that expectation.”

Multiple former assistants are cited in the counterargument as having had limited communications with McGee when it came to ensuring recruit visits were compliant with NCAA guidelines. Only Mike Balado, an assistant from 2013 – 2017, is credited for asking Pitino if there were any issues with the dorms during the only year he was also on staff with McGee.

The NCAA also points to multiple interviews that were conducted with former recruits, saying the majority could not recall specific questions from Pitino or any assistant coaches concerning the particulars of their visits. The document also references two specific former recruits who do remember interactions with Pitino on campus and say he generally asked how they enjoyed their time or if they interacted well with the student-athletes.

The university responded in the email releasing the reply saying:

“We continue to regret that NCAA legislation was violated by a former UofL employee. His behavior was shameful and wrong. This behavior is the reason we self-imposed severe penalties on ourselves. In this latest correspondence, the NCAA Enforcement Staff’s Response reiterates its previous position and, in fact, makes clear that the allegation does not state that Coach Pitino should have detected or known about the violations. We have faith in the NCAA process and look forward to demonstrating at the hearing that Coach Pitino properly monitored his staff.”

So what is next?

This case will now go before the NCAA Committee on Infractions, but no hearing date has been set. The Committee on Infractions will review U of L and Rick Pitino’s responses, as well as the NCAA’s reply, and will then hold a hearing to determine if further sanctions will be given.

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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