While the NCAA continues its investigation into accusations of improper benefits within the Louisville men's basketball program, U of L has announced a second round of self-imposed sanctions.
Louisville will reduce its number of total scholarship players by one for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, they will reduce the number of recruiting visits that Rick Pitino and his staff by 30, and they will reduce the number of official recruiting visits the program may host by one in 2016-17 and one in 2017-18.
Here's the official statement from U of L:
Statement From the Office of the President / University of Louisville
Regarding NCAA Compliance Review and Additional Measures
The University of Louisville continues to work collaboratively with the NCAA in the investigation of the University's men's basketball program. As a member of the NCAA, the University takes its responsibility for NCAA compliance seriously, and has cooperated with the NCAA in an effort to close this difficult chapter as soon as possible consistent with NCAA enforcement procedures. Under NCAA rules, the University is not able to discuss the investigation or the facts developed to date, but looks forward to doing so at the conclusion of the NCAA enforcement process.
Although the investigation is on-going, the University has elected proactively to self-impose certain penalties consistent with NCAA legislation, including withholding the men's basketball program from post-season competition this year. The University has also elected to self-impose certain other penalties in the men's basketball program, including reductions in the number of future scholarship awards, recruiting opportunities and official visits. In addition to the post-season ban previously announced, self-imposed penalties will include:
-- Reducing by two the number of scholarships awarded in men's basketball, (one in 2017-18, and one in 2018-19).
-- Reducing recruiting opportunities immediately in men's basketball (days coaching staff may recruit) by 30 (approximately a 24% reduction); and
-- Reducing official visits in men's basketball by two (one in 2016-17, and one in 2017-18).
Like the decision on the post-season ban, the decision to impose these penalties was difficult and reached through a collaborative process; President Ramsey has received input from its NCAA compliance and infractions counsel Steve Thompson of Nixon Peabody LLP; its lead investigator and NCAA consultant Chuck Smrt of The Compliance Group; the University's special investigative committee; Director of Athletics Tom Jurich; and Head Men's Basketball Coach Rick Pitino. Steve Thompson, counsel to the University, stated: "After much deliberation, the University believes that self-imposing these penalties is appropriate. While the University could elect to wait until the infractions process is complete, those consulted agree that these penalties are consistent with NCAA legislation, and imposing these penalties now is the right thing to do and may advance the University's goal of expediting resolution of this matter."
In addition, the University's athletics department is working on implementing additional corrective measures to improve its oversight of the men's basketball program and ensure continuing compliance with NCAA and ACC Rules. While the athletics department has a strong history of and commitment to compliance, the University looks to strengthen its procedures wherever possible; these additional measures will be designed to promote communication and transparency, prevent future violations before they occur, and make clear to the University community that violations of NCAA legislation will not be tolerated.
President Ramsey wishes to thank the faculty and staff who have assisted with these decisions, and particularly Tom Jurich and Coach Rick Pitino. Their integrity and decisive leadership have served the University well during these challenging times. As we navigate through this process, we appreciate the support of so many in our University community; we look forward to putting this matter behind us as we continue to advance the University's mission of excellence in teaching, research and service.
Consistent with NCAA rules, the University will have no further comment on this matter until the conclusion of the NCAA enforcement process.