Louisville's Pitino suspended for 5 ACC games, program on probation

Angie Massey
June 23, 2017

Meanwhile, Louisville vows to appeal. It was a brazen response given the sordid details of the scandal and the weakness of the punishment.

Pitino and Louisville should feel lucky in some respects.

The NCAA has suspended Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino for five ACC games next season in the high-profile scandal involving sex-for-pay for prospects, student-athletes and others. The NCAA said no in Rick Pitino's case, and that may be a bad sign for Ole Miss. In quite a twist, Calipari now coaches at Kentucky, the bitter rival of coach Rick Pitino and the Cards. "One person did the wrong thing", Pitino said. Postel said the university will appeal all of the NCAA's sanctions that were not self-imposed. After all, he's the real victim here.

Pitino's attorney, Scott Tompsett, issued a statement calling the NCAA's finding "one of the weakest" he's ever seen against a head coach.

"(The NCAA) "went beyond what we consider to be fair and reasonable", Postel said in his statement, adding that "The Committee on Infractions has gone too far and taken actions that are unwarranted. "It's to the point where it's not even conceivable what I just read".

The ruling from the NCAA Committee on Infractions is the culmination of an investigation that dated back to late August 2015, when Louisville was first informed of a book written by escort Katina Powell that alleged former basketball staffer Andre McGee paid for dances and sex on behalf of players and recruits.

The NCAA is not big on naming names in its infractions reports.

"It was insane", a former Louisville player told Outside the Lines in October 2015. Additionally, Louisville must return income earned from NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. The investigation that began almost two years ago reached its conclusion on Thursday, when the NCAA released its infractions decision. Prospect 2 spoke of it being "common knowledge" that the activities were occurring.

The committee also ruled that McGee acted unethically when he arranged for women to strip and engage in sex acts with players and recruits, and when he did not cooperate with the investigation.

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After the revelations came out in Powell's book, Pitino said he was "disheartened, disappointed". So I don't believe Pitino knew a thing.

For the sake of argument, let's take Pitino at his word and assume he didn't know about the parties.

When Ole Miss responded to the NCAA's notice of allegations earlier this month, the school acknowledged that some violations occurred, but also said that Freeze himself "has met expectations to emphasize (and) promote compliance".

Pitino's suspension is less severe than punishments previously meted out to Syracuse's Jim Boeheim and SMU's Larry Brown for violations within their programs.

As Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports pointed out, there wouldn't be a National Champion for 2013.

Here's how the coach perceives the situation as it stands today. Never mind that Pitino, who is married, had consensual sex with the woman in a restaurant and gave her money that was ultimately used for an abortion. He has also been the coach of the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics.

With the long-awaited penalties announced, many fans are hoping that it's finally time to move on. Watch reruns of your "One Shining Moment" DVD.

Louisville plans to appeal the ruling, per Pat Forde of Yahoo.

Other reports by GizPress

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