NCAA: Louisville stripped of 2013 men's basketball title

The NCAA's Infractions Appeals Committee has spoken: the University of Louisville's 2013 NCAA men's basketball championship has been vacated. "We believe the NCAA is simply wrong to have made this decision". Former coach Rick Pitino was suspended for five conference games and appealed the ruling.

Pitino has plenty of connections to the New England and MA area, as he played at UMass and coached Boston University, Providence College and the Boston Celtics before arriving at Louisville.

University of Louisville Interim President Greg Postel spoke after the NCAA ruled on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the University of Louisville will have to vacate wins and pay a fine.

According to an NCAA release, Louisville must vacate men's basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible during the 2011-12 through 2014-15 academic years.

The move marks the first time that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which regulates the big business of university sports in the United States, has forced a Division I basketball team to relinquish a championship.

This dark cloud has hung over our heads for more than two years, and it has had a negative impact on our athletics program, our fans and the entire university family. The school had previously said the penalties would affect 123 victories, including 15 NCAA Tournament wins and the 2013 national title.

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"Under the NCAA's own rules, such cooperation should have been a factor in determining the severity of the punishment", Postel said.

The Cardinals had already self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2015-16 season. But the NCAA committee on infractions ruled that Pitino violated NCAA head-coach responsibility rules by failing to monitor McGee's activities.

No word yet on whether or not Pitino will be removing his now-famous tattoo following Tuesday's ruling.

The appeals decision brings to a close - barring further legal action for the university - a process that began in August of 2015 when the school first heard of plans by Katina Powell, a self-described Louisville escort - to publish a tell-all book about providing strippers and prostitutes for U of L men's basketball players and recruits through an arrangement with then-basketball graduate assistant and later director of basketball operations Andre McGee.

McGee, who never talked to NCAA investigators, was given a 10-year show cause.

It is important to note that this ruling has no effect on the current NCAA investigation into the current men's basketball corruption scandal, in which Louisville is also involved. Pitino has not been charged, but he and Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich were fired in the wake of the allegations.

  • Lawrence Cooper