Louisville basketball program receives response from NCAA regarding allegations

Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Louisville basketball program received a response from the NCAA in regards to allegations received in May 2020.

On Friday morning, the University of Louisville got a key update on the NCAA allegations that have been raised against the basketball program.

It’s not known at this time what this response entails.

In May of 2020, the NCAA first filed their notice of allegations against the University of Louisville basketball program for events that occurred under now Iona head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino in 2017.

The whole timeline of the allegations can get quite twisted with many curves and turns in between.

The skinny is that these allegations were brought upon by the NCAA originating from an investigation by the federal government into the recruitment of Brian Bowen, a class of 2017 high school basketball recruit who was alleged to have received improper benefits from the University of Louisville’s basketball coaches to lure him to the Cardinals program.

It was a plot formed between Adidas executives James Gatto Merl Code, and Christian Dawkins in addition to the Louisville coaching staff.

If you want to learn more in-depth about what the program was accused of, you can read up more on the entire list of allegations here.

The university received one Level I allegation and three Level II allegations in the NCAA’s original findings.

In September, the University of Louisville responded to such allegations in a 104-page document that was aimed at convincing the NCAA to reduce such allegations placed against them that would ultimately hope to reduce any future penalties that come with such allegations.

A Level I allegation that Louisville is currently up against could result in a multi-year postseason ban.

Oklahoma State University received significant penalties for their Level I violation most recently that included a postseason ban for the 2020-21 basketball season as well as scholarship reductions among other things.

The University of Louisville has been dealing with these penalties floating over their head for three years from the NCAA. Now, with a clean house that includes a new coaching staff and no Brian Bowen, the University of Louisville is now at the forefront of the penalty talk once again.

Louisville was already dealing with a probation that extended back to 2015 when the basketball program was involved with the Katina Powell scandal that rocked the college athletics scene. The Cardinals self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2015-16 basketball season.

Later, the program had wins vacated that included a vacation of the 2013 National Championship victory.

What does this all mean for what is coming?

Well, it could mean a lot of things. The NCAA may have sympathy for the university and reduce the allegations under brand new leadership that includes a new athletic director in Vince Tyra, a new coaching staff, and none of the players still on the team that were accused in the recruiting scandal.

The university brings up good points in their original response to the allegations that they have made the proper changes to the university’s leadership and those involved in the program.

Punishing this group of coaches and student-athletes in the program seems wrong but punishments of some sort are still likely to rise to the surface at the end of the road despite such an overturn in leadership.

Whatever the University of Louisville is prepared to release from the NCAA on Monday will be incredibly significant for the future of the basketball program.

Chris Mack has already been facing difficulties on the recruiting trail in his first couple of seasons with the team.

Most recently, top-50 recruit Bryce Hopkins out of Illinois was rumored to have backed off of his pledge to Chris Mack and the Cardinals due to the looming allegations. Hopkins signed with Kentucky just a few weeks ago.

If it were up to me and many others not directly involved in the case, Louisville would be alleviated of most of their allegations. But that is not what we are dealing with. The NCAA has proven themselves to be an unknown commodity that lacks predictability as a governing body for college athletics.

On Monday, the response from the NCAA will be officially released to the public and included could be a group of groundbreaking allegations that set back the program once again or, in more optimistic terms, a situation where the NCAA actually goes easy on the program and reduces the allegations to a more minor degree.

There is no telling what the NCAA has punched back with. The best antidote for this entire mess will be when it is all over with and the university can finally rid themselves of an awful cloud that has been hanging over their head for years.

Monday is one of the most pivotal days in recent history for the University of Louisville and their athletic program.