Louisville files an appeal

Louisville files an appeal

Talk about chutzpah!

Caught in the midst of a federal criminal investigation over methods used to recruit University of Louisville men's basketball players, the university is asking the NCAA to lighten the penalties imposed in connection with a previous run-in over its illegal recruiting tactics.

If one does not ask, one does not get.

Still, the Louisville request appears to set the new indoor record for effrontery.

Consider this: Louisville's request that the NCAA modify the penalties imposed for the program's use of strippers and prostitutes to recruit players came at virtually the same time that it announced that it has fired a third basketball assistant — Kenny Johnson — in connection with the pending criminal probe.

But that's not all.

The school also announced that one of its star recruits — Brian Bowen — will not play for the school. According to news reports, Louisville coaches conspired with employees of Adidas to funnel money to players and their families, including Bowen's father, to secure his commitment to play for former head coach Rick Pitino.

Pitino, another of his assistants and the school's athletic director were dismissed quickly after federal prosecutors announced charges against four assistant coaches from university basketball programs across the country as well as a handful of private individuals reported to be involved in the criminality.

But that's the current Louisville scandal.

It's the old one — the one involving the strippers and prostitutes — Louisville seeks to relitigate.

The university's lawyers say the NCAA imposed "excessive penalties" and wants them modified because it punishes players "who did little wrong."

Louisville had hoped to head off any NCAA penalties by self-imposing sanctions in connection with the scandal that it first adamantly denied had occurred and later reluctantly acknowledged.

They included a postseason tournament ban in 2015-16. But the NCAA added additional penalties.

They included a five-game suspension for Pitino for this season, a penalty mooted by his dismissal. The NCAA also vacated 123 wins, including a 2012 Final Four appearance and a 2013 national championship, and ordered Louisville to repay millions of dollars in NCAA tournament revenue.

In seeking a reduction of penalties, Louisville argued that none of the players on the national championship team "accepted a sex act." It acknowledged they received improper benefits but said they "almost certainly would have warranted reinstatement without loss of competition."

Frankly, forfeiting wins and championships is of little significance, except perhaps to Louisville. It smacks of rewriting history Soviet-style in a way that tries to erase the past, however distasteful that may be.

Championships are won on the basketball court, not in the record books written after the games are played.

At the same time, fines, postseason bans, limits on scholarships and show-cause orders barring wrongdoers from participation in college sports for a specified number of years are real penalties for real misbehavior.

That certainly was present in the old Louisville case, and evidence that's been disclosed so far in the criminal investigation makes the "stripper" recruiting tactics look like child's play.

Louisville may be attempting to minimize what occurred. But the NCAA called it "repugnant."

The NCAA noted that a Louisville assistant, Andre McGee, paid a local prostitute and her associates $10,000 for 22 shows at a Cardinals' dormitory from 2010-14. It also held that Pitino should have known what was happening in a basketball program for which he was responsible.

The coach said he didn't know a thing about it. After the criminal charges were recently filed, implicating Louisville again, he said he didn't know anything about that either.

But Louisville fired him in an attempt to ameliorate the pending mess. Now it's appealing to the NCAA in an effort to minimize the damage from the previous mess.

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annabellissimo wrote on November 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

Ah, if only Professor emeritus Kaufman had been a professor at Louisville, rather than Illinois, but alas, t'ain't so. As it is, he can tend to the really important matters at Illinois. He doesn't need to be troubled with small matters like students being recruited and in that process the representatives of the university engage strippers and prostitutes. He doesn't need to be annoyed that the university was engaged in all manner of chicanery, cheating, immoral, unethical and illegal garbage. He doesn't need be revolted by plastic-surgeried, well-suited, slick and shiny Rick Pitino saying of the repeated use of strippers and prostitutes, and payment of large sum of money for same, that he did not know anything. Now if those strippers and prostitutes wore buckskin and headdresses and danced, had Kaufman been an emeritus professor at Louisville, he might have objected. With him being the precious ex of Illinois, it is Illinois who has the benefit of his obsessions. Poor Louisville. Oh well if the NCAA is true to form (a la North Carolina, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Florida State, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.) it will only be the University of Illinois who knows about their sanctions and power to punish. The University of Illinois is apparently their designated scapegoat and target for everything the NCAA finds bad. That list of everything bad apparently encompasses one thing: Professor Kaufman and his acolytes whingeing on and on about a man dancing in a way popularly associated with American Indian "pow-wow" dancing (and pow-wows are still held all over the USA, with dancing and buckskin and headdresses; the dances are pretty much the same in all regions, regardless of tribe. Imagine that. Horrible.) wearing buckskin and a headdress. Short list. If Kaufman were a legitimate critic of bad things and universities and university "athletics," he would add Louisville (see "prostitutes, strippers, corruption, bribery," etc.) or North Carolina (see "fake classes, phony grades, corruption, cheating students of education, teaching cynicism and deception", etc.:) But he is only one man with a very narrow view and a singular obsession: the Chief and the University of Illinois. And aren't we lucky that we have him.....or rather, that he has us. We are his hobby, his life, his project, his one and only motivating factor; we are his obsession. If some say it is his sickness, well, who am I to disagree. I wonder if Florida State would like a professor emeritus-in-residence and they could take him to a football game and direct his gaze to that shirtless fellow in the headdress, flaming spear in hand, on a horse. Wait! Is he impersonating an Indian??!! Go, Kaufman! A new project - and in a warm climate, no less! They even have internets in Florida so you can continue to be bulldog-watchdog on all websites everywhere all the time in case any likeness that is Chief-like appears and you can go after it!! Go Kaufman! Please.