We all knew it was coming, but that doesn’t make it any more fun to read about.
Via WDRB’s Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich, the NCAA is back in Louisville and officially investigating the Cardinal basketball program again. This investigation, of course, is related to U of L’s role in the FBI probe that “rocked” (but not really) college basketball a little less than two years ago.
The bigger news, at least for Cardinal fans, might be who is still advising the university in all this madness.
The NCAA has resumed its investigation of the University of Louisville men’s basketball program and alleged violations in its recruitment of high school All-American Brian Bowen, two sources told WDRB.
According to one source, NCAA associate director of enforcement Nate Leffler interviewed a Louisville businessman on Tuesday about Bowen, former assistant coach Kenny Johnson and aspiring agent Christian Dawkins. The source said that Chuck Smrt, president of The Compliance Group, also was present for the interview.
John Karman, director of communications for U of L, said via email that Smrt remains a consultant for the university but that the school has retained “outside counsel with a nationally known reputation in these matters” for representation in dealings with the NCAA. Karman said he was unable to confirm whether any interviews have taken place, and said that the university had not received any official notice from the NCAA since receiving a verbal notice of inquiry of possible violations on March 8.
I don’t care what his role his, I don’t care how much blame he actually deserves for what went down in 2017/2018, and I don’t care what his current contract is; I don’t what Chuck Smrt anywhere near take two with the NCAA.
My only other thought is that if we’re just now getting to the point where the NCAA is kicking up leaves around town, we’re still a ways off from the time Louisville will receive its notice of allegations. That falls in line with the buzz from the last few months that U of L would — to the surprise of many — not be among the first wave of schools to receive NOAs.
If we’ve learned anything over the last three years it’s that there’s no way to predict what the NCAA is going to do, and there’s nothing any of us can do to change that. The good news is that this go-round, a preseason top five team with legitimate national title aspirations should make neglecting news stories like today’s a slightly easier task.