Louisville men’s basketball is having quite the day.
The school announced that head coach Chris Mack will be suspended for six games for his handling of an extortion attempt by former assistant Dino Gaudio. Gaudio, meanwhile, is being sentenced today for that extortion attempt.
From release: "Mack failed to follow University guidelines, policies, and procedures in handling the (extortion) matter. The sanctions imposed upon Coach Mack are unrelated to the extortion attempt itself and the ongoing NCAA process."
— Pat Forde (@ByPatForde) August 27, 2021
From Louisville’s statement:
“Our university is on a positive trajectory in so many areas and athletics is a critical component to our mission and to our engagement,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “While Chris has done so many positive things during a challenging time for our men’s basketball program, he is held to the same standards as other U of L employees, and we believe that this suspension is commensurate with his actions—whether intentional or not.”
“I regret that any of my unintentional actions or failures to follow University guidelines have brought unnecessary attention to our outstanding athletics programs and University,” said Mack. “I understand that I could have handled matters differently and therefore I accept this suspension. While it will kill me to be away from our basketball family in November, I will do everything possible to set them up for success before and after my time away, and I am fully confident that our coaches, staff and student-athletes will rise to the occasion.”
It’s a pretty wild story that has gone fairly under the radar from a national perspective. Mack secretly recorded Gaudio when Gaudio threatened to expose potential NCAA violations unless he received a full payout upon being fired as an assistant.
Mack, meanwhile, remains under investigation for those potential violations; this suspension isn’t related to that issue. Gaudio will be sentenced today, and faces time in federal prison.
It’s especially wild to see this happen at Louisville, considering Mack was brought in to replace Rick Pitino, who was also dismissed after a series of embarrassing situations.