June 15, 2017, 11:46 am
Louisville coach Rick Pitino will be suspended for the first five Atlantic Coast Conference games in the 2017-18 season for failing to monitor his men's basketball program in the wake of a sex scandal, the Division I Committee on Infractions announced Thursday.
The Cardinals also will be on probation for four years, have scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions. Louisville will also forfeit any money received through conference revenue sharing from the 2012-15 NCAA Tournaments.
The status of the school's 2012-13 national championship could be at risk, as the NCAA ruled the Cardinals must vacate all basketball records in which players competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014.
The NCAA, which accepted Louisville's self-imposed 2015-16 postseason ban, ruled that Pitino "violated NCAA head coach responsibility rules" by failing to monitor the activities of former assistant Andre McGee, who is alleged to have hired strippers to entertain players and recruits.
"For the past 30-some-odd years as a coach, I believe in the NCAA," Pitino said in April when initially charged with failure to monitor the basketball program. "The people who investigated this were highly professional and they were fair. Do I agree with the failure to monitor one of my people? Absolutely no. I overly monitor my staff.
"I'm not guilty of failure to monitor my staff. I'm guilty of trusting someone. All head coaches believe and trust in assistant coaches. It's what coaches do."
Pitino came under intense criticism after Katina Powell, an escort, wrote a book "Breaking Cardinal Rules" which detailed the payment for performances in the form of cash and game tickets. Powell identified McGee as the one who paid for sex with recruits and players in the players' dormitory, Minardi Hall, which was constructed in honor of Pitino's brother-in-law.