CRAWFORD | Emmert declines to comment on Louisville allegations - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Emmert declines to comment on Louisville allegations in CBS interview

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports sat down with NCAA President Mark Emmert at the Armed Forces Classic in Maryland Friday night and asked an NCAA national representative for the first time to comment on scandal allegations within the University of Louisville men’s basketball program.

He didn’t get much, but Emmert did speak in general about the scandals at Syracuse, SMU and Louisville, cited by Rothstein in his question, “How much does it hurt the sport when we see these programs, with Hall of Fame and fabled coaches, being in the limelight for these types of reasons?”

(The interview neglected to mention North Carolina, which recently was the subject of a large-scale report by the Raleigh News & Observer in its ongoing academic scandal.)

Emmert spoke in general about the importance of protecting the integrity of the values of college sports, then said, “Nobody likes to see those kinds of issues, but these are all programs that have great histories and really good values inside those institutions, and they’re going to respond to these in an appropriate way. We’re already seeing that.”

Rothstein asked one question about Louisville specifically, saying, “The issues at SMU and Syracuse were academically related. The issue at Louisville is a little bit different. Potentially would the penalty be harsher because it’s in a different realm?”

Emmert wouldn’t commit, answering, “Well I’m not going to speculate about that. This is a case that’s obviously still unfolding, an ongoing investigation both at the university level and in different realms, so it’s inappropriate for me to comment on it today.”

It’s the first comment of any kind from an NCAA official since the publication of “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” in which Katina Powell alleges that she put on parties in which U of L players and recruits had sex with escorts paid for by former director of basketball operations Andre McGee. Powell claims to have been paid upwards of $10,000 from 2010 to 2014. Her book outlines 10 shows with U of L players in the dorm, and details $5,840 in money.

U of L has retained Chuck Smrt of the Kansas City-based Compliance Group to handle an independent investigation on its behalf. Every scholarship player on the current roster was interviewed by the NCAA two weeks ago, with other former recruits having indicated that they also have been approached by the NCAA.

Emmert noted on Friday that the process of determining possible violations is a collaborative effort between the NCAA and schools, with the final ruling coming from the organization’s infractions committee.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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