Sport: Mark Story: Is newly aggressive NCAA going to be bad news for Louisville basketball? - - PressFrom - US
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Sport Mark Story: Is newly aggressive NCAA going to be bad news for Louisville basketball?

18:40  29 september  2019
18:40  29 september  2019 Source:   kentucky.com

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Interim president and athletic director Postel and Tyra comment in The NCAA 's ruling to strip UofL of its 2013 national championship. Astrid Hacker/ Louisville Courier Journal.

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The preseason college basketball magazines love Chris Mack’s 2019-20 Louisville Cardinals.

Louisville head coach Chris Mack directs his team during a first round men's college basketball game against Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. Minnesota won 86-76. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)© AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall Louisville head coach Chris Mack directs his team during a first round men's college basketball game against Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament, Thursday, March 21, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. Minnesota won 86-76. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Lindy’s picks the Jordan Nwora-led Cards No. 2 in the country. Street & Smith projects the Cardinals No. 5. Blue Ribbon has Louisville No. 6.

It would behoove U of L backers to relish this coming hoops season. Judging by recent moves from the NCAA, there is ample reason to again be uneasy about what the college sports governing body might have in store for the Louisville basketball program.

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The N.C.A.A. on Tuesday upheld penalties against Louisville ’s men’s basketball program related to a sex scandal involving players, recruits and prostitutes, and ordered the university to forfeit dozens of victories, including its 2013 national championship.

Louisville is already on NCAA probation from the school's escort scandal. Because that infractions case occurred within five years of allegations "We don't let it affect our job. I don’t have that feeling of anxiousness or whatever people want to label it." For Tyra, the goal is to remain optimistic, if realistic.

NCAA actions this summer suggest it has moved into a new era in how its enforcement arm views the involvement of shoe companies in the recruiting process.

North Carolina State (in early July) and Kansas (this month) have received the first two NCAA notices of allegations arising out of the information gleaned during the FBI probe of college hoops recruiting corruption. In both, the NCAA refers to Adidas “as a representative of the institution’s athletics interests.”

That means, in NCAA parlance, that the schools can be held responsible for the actions of Adidas and its representatives.

As the Courier Journal’s Tim Sullivan pointed out last week, that is not stellar news for U of L.

Like Kansas and North Carolina State, Louisville, too, has an athletics apparel contract with Adidas.

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U of L was already on NCAA probation in 2017 due to the “strippers/escorts for recruits” scandal when it was also linked to the “shoe company corruption” allegations uncovered that year by the FBI investigation.

A Cardinals assistant coach was allegedly caught via surveillance in a Las Vegas hotel room participating in the conception of a plan to have representatives of Adidas pay $100,000 to the family of recruit Brian Bowen to secure the player’s commitment to Louisville.

A touted class of 2017 prospect, Bowen shocked the recruiting world by picking U of L late in the process after not being linked with the Cards over most of his recruitment.

Judging by the severity of the allegations it made against Kansas, it seems that NCAA enforcement is looking to make a bold statement about “cleaning up” college hoops.

Kansas was charged by the NCAA with five Level 1 violations by its men’s basketball program. KU was accused of “a lack of institutional control,” while Jayhawks Coach Bill Self was hit with a “head coach responsibility” charge.

NCAA says Self is a cheater and wants him out

  NCAA says Self is a cheater and wants him out Kansas coach Bill Self was sent a Notice of Allegations by NCAA linked to recruiting that sends a message NCAA wants to make an example of Self.Two years after an FBI investigation cracked the door open on how college basketball really works and tons of skepticism about whether the NCAA would truly go after the sport's big names, the first real hammer dropped Monday. In no uncertain terms, they have called Kansas coach Bill Self a cheater.

The NCAA also hit Louisville with "a vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes "I'm going to concentrate on basketball . The only way you can be strong is to immerse yourself into - -Kentucky coach Rick Pitino grins as he listens to a reporter's question during a news conference in

That became clear Tuesday afternoon during opening statements of a trial in which he's charged with two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Instead, what Gatto is going to do is acknowledge he's guilty of committing major NCAA rules violations.

Of all the schools implicated in alleged NCAA violations as a result of the FBI corruption probe, U of L is easily the most complicated case.

Following the initial FBI report two Septembers ago, Louisville cleaned house. U of L parted ways with men’s hoops coach Rick Pitino, two of his assistants, Jordan Fair and Kenny Johnson, as well as longtime Cardinals athletics director Tom Jurich.

A new guard is now in place at Louisville. New U of L president Neeli Bendapudi has seemed a breath of fresh air. Current AD Vince Tyra has said all the right things in terms of trying to create a culture of rules compliance. Entering his second season as Cards’ men’s hoops coach, Mack’s tenure has been free of NCAA controversy.

Yet the NCAA will have to weigh the extent to which U of L’s cleaned house mitigates its past sins.

During last fall’s federal fraud trial of Jim Gatto and Merl Code of Adidas and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins, the prosecution stated that ex-U of L assistant Fair paid $900 to an unspecified recruit.

In the same trial, Brian Bowen Sr., the father of Brian Bowen the player, testified under oath that ex-Louisville assistant Johnson gave him $1,300 in cash in August, 2017, to help cover the monthly rent on a room at the Galt House hotel in Louisville.

NCAA is hammering Kansas. Is the same in store for Louisville?

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Unlike in Louisville 's case, however, the NCAA applied penalties to Penn State without going through its normal infractions and enforcement process. NCAA president Mark Emmert, however, said the "The NCAA 's authority does not extend to criminal acts perpetrated by someone who happens to be

This story was updated on June 15, 2017. Here is a timeline of events in the Louisville basketball Louisville coach Rick Pitino says he was heartbroken when he heard the allegations that a former ESPN reports the NCAA interviewed former Louisville recruit Antonio Blakeney, whose name is in

The NCAA’s “repeat-violator” rule — commonly referred to as “the death penalty” — can be triggered when a school already on probation for a major violation is found to have committed another one within five years of the first case.

It was June 15, 2017, when the NCAA placed Louisville on probation and vacated its 2013 NCAA title and 2012 Final Four berth because some U of L recruits and players had received sexual favors from escorts allegedly hired by one-time Cardinals director of basketball operations Andre McGee.

If the allegations from the federal fraud trial are true, Louisville staff members were committing major NCAA violations only weeks after the university went on probation.

At least three national sports columnists — Dan Wetzel and Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports and USA Today’s Christine Brennan — have called for Louisville basketball to get the NCAA death penalty.

For myriad reasons, conventional wisdom is the NCAA will never again shut down a program.

Not all in the Lexington market will agree, but it would be bad for the commonwealth of Kentucky if that happened to Louisville basketball.

Regardless, the aggressive posture of NCAA enforcement suggests the anxiety is far from over for a scandal-exhausted U of L fan base.

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©2019 the Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)

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