NCAA suspends Pitino, sanctions Louisville


The NCAA has suspended Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino for five Atlantic Coast Conference games following its sex scandal investigation.

The governing body also Thursday placed the basketball program on four years’ probation, vacated wins in which ineligible players participated and handed down a 10-year show-cause order for former basketball operations director Andre McGee.

The NCAA has not vacated the Cardinals’ 2013 national championship, saying the school must determine which games ineligible players participated in. Players deemed ineligible would be those involved in the sex parties, which are considered impermissible benefits.

Louisville interim president Greg Postel issued a statement saying the school believes the additional “severe” penalties are excessive and plans to appeal. The university, which has self-imposed several sanctions, has 45 days to respond.

“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,” Postel said. “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 long-awaited NCAA announcement reiterated its original view that Pitino should have known about McGee’s activities with former escort Katina Powell, who alleged in a 2015 book that staff McGee had hired her and other escorts to strip and have sex with Louisville recruits and players.

The NCAA’s release included statements by the panel on its decision, which said: “The types of activities that occurred in this case were repugnant and threaten the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model, regardless.”

The NCAA also said, “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.”

Penalties prescribed by the panel also include 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 men’s basketball championships.

The NCAA also accepted the university’s self-imposed 2015-16 postseason ban.

Powell alleged that McGee paid her $10,000 for 22 shows at the Cardinals’ dormitory from 2010-14, a period that includes their NCAA title run.

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