CRAWFORD | 6 highlights of the NCAA's response to Louisville
Six key highlights from the NCAA's reply to Louisville's defense of itself in the Katina Powell sex-for-recruits scandal.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The NCAA enforcement staff has responded to the University of Louisville's reply to allegations against it surrounding the sex-for-recruits scandal within its men's basketball program.
From the 118-page redacted NCAA response released on Thursday, the four major takeaways:
1. The NCAA has roundly rejected arguments U of L made in its defense involving strippers and prostitutes being provided for recruits at the men's basketball dorm, arranged and paid for by former director of basketball operations Andre McGee. It did not agree with U of L's claim that several dollar amounts were inflated, essentially saying that the dollar amount did not matter, given the severity of the violations. "Whether the sexual intercourse, arranged and funded by the institution, is valued at $200 or $400 is immaterial," the staff wrote. In its conclusion, the staff repeated the phrase, "The violations occurred as alleged."
2. The enforcement staff rejected arguments Rick Pitino offered in his own defense, reiterating its stance that while he did not know about the events, he did not monitor McGee in the way NCAA rules require. "It is clear that neither Pitino nor his assistant coaches monitored McGee," the staff said.
3. At least one player or former player told the NCAA, "It was common knowledge among his teammates that the adult entertainment was occurring in Minardi. [He] reported that whenever a highly sought after prospect was visiting the institution, adult entertainers were in the dormitory."
4. NCAA enforcement also rejected the school's claim that it be given consideration for exemplary cooperation in the investigation, saying U of L did what was required but did not go above and beyond that. U of L also argued that a "history of major violations" should not be considered an aggravating factor in assigning penalties. The NCAA enforcement staff said it would defer to the committee's decision on this.
5. The NCAA believes former program assistant Brandon Williams -- who has been charged with a major violation for not turning over his cell phone to investigators -- fits the description of a man who gave Katina Powell cash before she went to meet prospect Antonio Blakeney and his guardian at a Louisville hotel during an AAU Tournament. But -- and this is an important distinction to note -- the NCAA has not charged Williams with that, which means that its evidence either doesn't prove it, or that other evidence might indicate differently.
6. This response from the NCAA sets the stage for a hearing before the NCAA committee on infractions, likely sometime this summer.
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