After waiting more than five years, the Louisville men’s basketball program finally found out its fate from the NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) on Thursday.
U of L, like Memphis and NC State before it, has dodged major sanctions. The Cardinals were hit with a $5,000 fine, a small reduction in recruiting days and two years of probation. The program was NOT hit with any sort of postseason ban, and former head coaches Rick Pitino and Chris Mack avoided any sort of punishment.
Former assistant coaches Kenny Johnson (now at Rhode Island) and Jordan Fair were both assessed two-year show-cause penalties.
Ultimately, the IARP determined that U of L was guilty of just a single Level-I violation. The Level-II violations that the NCAA levied against the school were all determined to be Level-III.
Here’s the full list of penalties handed down by the IARP (you can read the entire IARP document here):
The key point in U of L’s case appears to be whether or not the Adidas employees involved in this scandal could be categorized as school boosters. The NCAA argued yes. The IARP disagreed.
“The hearing panel concluded that the case record did not provide sufficient or credible information to conclude that the apparel company (Adidas) was a representative of (Louisville’s) athletics interests.”
This is also a very reassuring line to read if you’re a Kansas fan.
As far as Pitino is concerned, the IARP ultimately found the former Cardinal head coach guilty of no wrongdoing. The IARP concluded that “no violation by former head coach No. 1 [Pitino] occurred given that he demonstrated he promoted an atmosphere of compliance.”
Pitino is set to hold a press conference at noon.
“It’s been five-plus years,” Louisville AD Josh Herid said recently. “Think about that. Five years. It’s hard to believe. And so, whatever the decision is, there will be some relief. Once we know what the results are, I absolutely think that it’ll be full steam ahead, moving forward with Kenny Payne and the program.”
Finally, the time to move forward has come.
More to come in a bit.