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Louisville hit with four Level I violations in NOA

 

The NCAA alleges that former Louisville staffer Andre McGee provided at least $5,400 in impermissible benefits to players and prospects in the form of adult entertainment.

That is just one of the four Level I violations listed the NCAA’s notice of allegations, which was publicly released by the school on Thursday.

McGee, a former Cardinal player who was a graduate assistant with the program from 2010-12 and the director of basketball operations from 2012-14, allegedly provided the impermissible benefits from at least December 2010 to April 2014. He left the program to join UMKC’s staff as an assistant in 2014 but resigned from that position in October 2015.

Louisville’s four violations include:

  • McGee providing impermissible benefits in the form of adult entertainment.
  • McGee’s refusal to furnish relevant information to the investigation.
  • Former assistant Brandon Williams’ refusal to furnish relevant information to the investigation.
  • Head coach Rick Pitino’s failure to monitor McGee.

 

The university has 90 days to send its reponse to the NCAA. Upon receipt of the response, the NCAA will then have 60 days to reply to Louisville’s response. A date for a hearing will then be scheduled for school officials to go before the NCAA Committee on Infractions. In the following weeks — or months — the NCAA will reach a verdict and levy any penalties.

The NCAA began investigating the school in October 2015 after Louisville woman Katina Powell wrote in her book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen, that McGee paid her and others to have sex with and dance for UofL players and prospects.

“As parents and university leaders who care about every student who comes to the University of Louisville, we are heartbroken that inappropriate behavior took place here. It saddens us tremendously,” interim president Dr. Neville Pinto and athletic director Tom Jurich said in a joint statement. “We promised that if something was done wrong, we would be open about it, acknowledge it and correct it.

“From the beginning, no one wanted to know the truth more than UofL and that’s why we immediately notified the NCAA Enforcement Staff and worked diligently with them to determine what took place. It’s why we retained NCAA consultant Chuck Smrt and outside counsel Steve Thompson to determine the facts.”

Pinto and Jurich expressed support for Pitino.

“It is important to note what is not being alleged. The NOA does not contain an allegation that Coach Pitino had knowledge of what took place in the dormitory. The NCAA does not allege a ‘lack of institutional control’ at Louisville, a very severe allegation. The NCAA does not allege that there was a ‘failure to monitor’ against the institution, also a severe allegation. The NCAA does not allege that Coach Pitino failed to ‘promote an atmosphere of compliance’, a serious allegation. The NOA does contain a narrower allegation — which we will dispute — that Coach Pitino failed to demonstrate that he monitored Mr. McGee.

“We believe that Mr. McGee acted furtively and note that the NOA does not indicate that any other university employee besides Mr. McGee had knowledge of these activities. We are confident in Coach Pitino and we know he is and always has been committed to NCAA compliance.”

Louisville finished last season 23-8 overall and 12-6 in the ACC. In February, the program self-imposed a postseason ban that prevented it from competing in last season’s ACC and NCAA tournaments. The Cardinals also forfeited scholarships.