The NCAA 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.
It is the first time the NCAA has stripped a program of the championship won in the Division I men’s basketball tournament, the organization’s signature event.
The decision is merely the latest blow for the scandal-battered Louisville basketball program and its former coach, Rick Pitino, who was forced out in September in an unrelated recruiting scandal.
Among other punishments confirmed Tuesday: Louisville must vacate 123 wins — every game it won from the 2011-12 through the 2014-15 seasons — and all of its NCAA Tournament appearances during that period, including its 2012 and 2013 trips to the Final Four and the 2013 national championship. It also must forfeit about $600,000 in tournament payouts from those seasons.
In a statement addressed to the “UofL Family” and posted on Louisville’s website, the university’s interim president, Greg Postel, strongly disagreed with the appeals panel’s decision.
“I cannot say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong,” Postel wrote.
The scandal under examination by the panel first came to light in 2015 when a woman said that Andre McGee, a former Louisville player then serving on the basketball staff, had solicited her escort service. For several years, she charged, McGee had arranged for prospects and recruits to be entertained by the women in an on-campus dormitory.
— The New York Times