The jury is in – finally – on U of L basketball scandal

Published 12:50 pm Thursday, November 3, 2022


Kentucky Today

After five years, judgment day finally arrived for the University of Louisville basketball program Thursday, and the school can breathe a sigh of relief because the school avoided major penalties. So did former coaches Rick Pitino, now at Iona, and Chris Mack.

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An Independent Accountability Review Panel (IARP) made its decision public Thursday morning in the pay-for-play scandal uncovered by the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball, and it didn’t add any major penalties for the program, or Pitino and Mack.

U of L will receive two years of probation, a $5,000 fine and several minor recruiting restrictions for its part in the scheme involving prep recruit Brian Bowen and Adidas.

School officials had worried that they might face enhanced penalties as an NCAA repeat offender since the school went on probation for the Katina Powell sex-for-recruit-scandal that caused Louisville to vacate its 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance, along with 123 victories.

U of L’s main penalties determined by the IARP investigation are:

• A $5,000 fine.

• Two-week ban on unofficial visits during the 2022-23 academic year.

• Additional two-week ban on recruiting communication (telephone and written correspondence) during the 2022-23 academic year.

• Seven-day reduction in the number of recruiting person days for the 2022-23 academic year.

• Two years of probation, from Nov. 3, 2022, to Nov. 2, 2024.

The IARP also listed these additional penalties:

• Public reprimand and censure.

• Probation will be publicized by the NCAA on its website and other places.

• Graduate assistant managers and other noncoaching staff members are restricted from participation in any on-court practice activities for 10 practices.

• The program is restricted from showing personalized recruiting videos to prospective student-athletes during the remainder of the 2022-23 recruiting calendar.

The IARP report also detailed various procedures U of L must follow during the probationary period, such as developing an education program for coaches and others; submitting a preliminary compliance report by Jan. 31, 2023; informing recruits in writing about the probation; and other requirements.

Pitino and Mack received no penalties. However, former associate head coach Kenny Johnson, now an assistant at Rhode Island, and ex-assistant Jordan Fair were issued a two-year show-cause order.