The Notice of Allegations from the NCAA compliance office has reached the mailbox at Louisville, and it takes aim at head basketball coach Rick Pitino and two other members of the Louisville staff.
Pitino was charged with failure to monitor a staff member within the basketball program. Although the NCAA found no reason to suggest Pitino was directly involved with any wrongdoing going on within the program, it did feel he should have been more aware. Because of that, Pitino is in danger of punishment from the NCAA. Louisville director of basketball operations Andre McGee and former assistant Brandon Williams are also included in the notice of allegations.
Louisville has not been charged with any violations, it should be noted, at this time.
“The people who investigated this were highly professional. They were fair,” Pitino said at a news conference Thursday. “Do I agree with failure to monitor my staff? No. I overly monitor my staff.”
The NCAA seems to disagree.
The Louisville basketball program came under fire following the release of a 2015 book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” which outlined how members of the basketball program would use and provide escorts to recruits visiting the campus. The NCAA determined escorts were paid cash in exchange for providing sex to recruits and players in the Louisville dorms.
“I wish it would have been leaked out to me because it would have been stopped immediately,” Pitino said.
“We need to get kids comfortable to come and talk to us when there’s a wrong,” Jurich said.
Pitino and the university do intend to challenge the NCAA’s findings, which is their right to do in the process. An appeal may be filed and reviewed by the NCAA before making any further decisions on punishments. How Louisville and Pitino can fend off the idea from the NCAA that the head coach should have total authority over what happens within the program remains to be seen. It also seems like a tough fight to have considering the NCAA rarely gives in to an appeal on such a charge.