University of Louisville interim President Dr. Greg Postel, left, answers a question as interim Athletic Director Vince Tyra looks on during a press conference, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville must vacate its 2013 men’s basketball title following an NCAA appeals panel’s decision to uphold sanctions against the men’s program in the sex scandal case. The Cardinals will have to vacate 123 victories including the championship, and return some $600,000 in conference revenue from the 2012-15 NCAA Tournaments. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Louisville Cardinals must vacate basketball title, NCAA denies appeal

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville must vacate its 2013 men’s basketball title following an NCAA appeals panel’s decision to uphold sanctions against the men’s program in the sex scandal case.

The Cardinals will have to vacate 123 victories including the championship, and return some $600,000 in conference revenue from the 2012-15 NCAA Tournaments.

The decision announced on Tuesday by the governing body’s Infraction Appeals Committee ruled that the NCAA has the authority to take away championships for what it considers major rule violations. It also refuted Louisville’s position that the NCAA exceeded its boundaries and didn’t follow its own precedent established in other cases and said in an eight-page decision that ended, “the penalties are upheld.”

“I cannot say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong,” Louisville interim President Dr. Greg Postel said in a statement. “We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case – based on NCAA precedent – that supported our argument.”

Louisville now must forfeit its third NCAA title, victories and income from 2012-15, part of the timeframe during which the violations occurred. The decision culminates the governing body’s investigation that followed allegations in a 2015 book by escort Katina Powell that former Cardinals basketball staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits.

“From Day One, the university has admitted that the actions of the former operations director and any others involved under previous leadership were offensive and inexcusable,” Postel said in the statement. “That is why we apologized immediately, co-operated fully with the NCAA, self-imposed penalties that were appropriate to the offences and made significant changes to ensure incidents like this never happen again.

“Under the NCAA’s own rules, this co-operation should have been a factor in the severity of the punishment. Instead, it was ignored.”

The school’s own investigation into the allegation revealed that violations occurred and resulted in a self-imposed post-season ban nearly two years ago. Louisville later imposed scholarship and recruiting restrictions in an effort to mitigate further NCAA discipline.

While the NCAA accepted Louisville’s actions, it went further with harsher sanctions last June that included:

— A five-game suspension of former Cardinals coach Rick Pitino, who was fired in October following Louisville’s acknowledgement that it was being investigated in a federal bribery probe of college basketball. That measure included a show-cause penalty for Pitino, whom the NCAA criticized for failing to monitor McGee and ignoring multiple red flags;

— Four years’ probation, along with the vacation of those wins and appearances in the 2012 and 2013 Final Fours;

— Show-cause penalties for McGee, who is no longer coaching;

— Postel estimated the return of up to $600,000 in NCAA Tournament revenue.

“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,” Postel said. “While we disagree with the NCAA’s decision, it is time for the university to close this chapter and move forward with a stronger commitment to excellence on and off the court.”

Postel, then-athletic director Tom Jurich and Pitino said last summer they planned to fight the sanctions. Pitino, who repeatedly denied knowing about the activities described in Powell’s book, was particularly frustrated with his penalties.

A lot changed at Louisville in the months following the NCAA penalties. Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave and Jurich on paid administrative leave on Sept. 27 following the school’s involvement in the FBI probe that initially involved the arrests of 10 people.

Just Posted

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

Regional sewage line moving ahead despite concerns

Cost sharing among concerns of municipalities involved in Sylvan Lake-to-Red Deer sewage line

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by Maxime Bernier

MONTREAL — Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by former Tory… Continue reading

WATCH: Fine wine and food at Red Deer College

The Red Deer College Alumni Association hosted its 14th annual Fine Wine… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Montreal couple hoping city lets them keep beloved pet pig named Babe

MONTREAL — Babe the pig spends his days sleeping, going for walks… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Northbound QEII traffic to return to northbound lanes as contruction continues south of Red Deer

Though the Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange still has months until completion, some… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month