TIMELINE | Louisville's NCAA investigation and vacating the championship, start to finish
A timeline of events in the University of Louisville men's basketball program's investigation into NCAA wrongdoing.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Since Katina Powell went to work on a tell-all book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," about her experiences providing strippers and prostitutes for recruits and players in the University of Louisville men’s basketball dorm, the school and its program have found themselves on a difficult road of investigation and NCAA sanctions.
The following is a list of key dates and events both within the investigation, and in the wider scandal itself.
August 2015 – U of L learns of allegations that Andre McGee, then men's basketball program assistant (2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years), director of basketball operations (2012-13 academic year through April 2014) and representative of the institution's athletics interests while a University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) assistant men's basketball coach (April through July 2014), arranged for the provision of alcohol and adult entertainment in Minardi Hall, a campus dormitory.
Sept. 4, 2015 – U of L interviews McGee.
Between Sept. 4 and Sept. 9, 2015 – The university reports to the NCAA enforcement staff that it received information related to the possible providing of impermissible inducements involving the men's basketball program, and the enforcement staff agreed to allow the institution to begin an independent inquiry into the possible violations.
Sept. 9-11, 2015 – U of L interviews numerous then-men's basketball players and men's basketball non-coaching staff members.
Sept. 28, 2015 – U of L provides the enforcement staff the results of its initial inquiry.
Sept. 29, 2015 – U of L and NCAA enforcement staff begin a joint investigation of possible violations of NCAA rules involving McGee's providing impermissible offers and inducements and extra benefits to men's basketball prospects and players.
Oct. 21, 2015 – The NCAA enforcement staff provides the institution a verbal notice of inquiry.
Oct. 23, 2015 – McGee resigns from UMKC.
Oct. 26-27, 2015 – U of L and NCAA enforcement staff conduct the initial round of campus interviews in Louisville.
Dec. 3, 2015 – U of L’s police department communicates to the NCAA enforcement staff that it was conducting a criminal investigation related to the subject matter of the investigation.
Feb. 10, 2016 – Scott Cox, McGee's attorney, informs the NCAA that McGee would not interview with the enforcement staff or provide telephone records while facing possible state or federal criminal charges.
April 26, 2016 – U of L and NCAA enforcement staff interviews Rick Pitino, head men's basketball coach.
May 20, 2016 – The NCAA enforcement staff requests Brandon Williams, former men's basketball program assistant, to provide copies of his cell phone records dated June 1 through September 30, 2014.
June 1, 2016 -- Cox informs the NCAA enforcement staff that McGee would not grant it an interview or provide requested telephone or bank records.
June 6, 2016 – The enforcement staff provides Williams a second written request for his telephone records.
June 30, 2016 – The enforcement staff provides Williams a third written request for his telephone records.
July 11, 2016 – U of L informs the NCAA enforcement staff that Williams communicated to it that he would not be providing the requested telephone records.
Aug. 17, 2016 – U of L and NCAA enforcement staff interviews Williams, and he refused to provide the enforcement staff with the requested records or execute a release to obtain his telephone records.
Oct. 5, 2016 – Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas Wine says his office is in contact with U of L and the Crimes Against Children unit of Louisville police to investigate whether underage girls were involved in prostitution alleged by Powell in her book.
Oct. 17, 2016 – The notice of allegations was sent to the president of U of L, Pitino, McGee and Williams.
Oct. 20, 2016 – Katina Powell appears on ESPN’s Outside the Lines and repeats the allegations in her book, that she made deals with Andre McGee to provide strippers for parties for recruits and players in the men’s basketball dorm, and that “side deals” were often made for sex.
Oct. 30, 2016 – The Commonwealth’s Attorneys office begins issuing subpoenas in its investigation of events described in Powell’s book.
Jan. 12, 2017 – Cox submits a letter stating that McGee was unable to respond to the notice of allegations because of a pending criminal investigation.
Jan. 13, 2017 – Peter Ginsburg, Williams' attorney, requests an extension to submit Williams' response to the notice of allegations.
Jan. 17, 2017 – U of L submits its response to the notice of allegations.
Jan. 17, 2017 – Pitino submits his initial response to the notice of allegations.
Jan. 30, 2017 – Brandon Williams submits his initial response to the notice of allegations.
Feb. 17, 2017 – Cox informed the NCAA enforcement staff that McGee would not participate in a prehearing conference at that time.
Feb. 21, 2017 – NCAA enforcement staff conducts a pre-hearing conference with the U of L.
Feb. 22, 2017 – NCAA enforcement staff conducts a pre-hearing conference with Pitino.
Feb. 23, 2017 – NCAA enforcement staff conducts a pre-hearing conference with Ginsburg on behalf of Williams.
March 17, 2017 – NCAA enforcement staff submits its reply and statement of the case to a hearing panel of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions, the institution and involved individuals.
June 15, 2017 – The NCAA issues a public infractions report, finding U of L guilty of major violations and assigning stiff sanctions, including the vacating of as many as 123 victories from 2010 to 2014, the vacating of the 2013 NCAA men’s basketball championship, 2012 Final Four appearance, two Big East championships and an American Athletic Conference championship. U of L also is ordered to return NCAA Tournament revenue-sharing proceeds from the 2010 to 2015, and placed on four years’ probation. Pitino is given a five-game suspension, to begin with the team’s first conference game of the 2017-18 season. McGee is handed a 10-year “show cause” order, effectively banning him from being employed by an NCAA institution.
June 28, 2017 – U of L’s board of trustees votes to limit the school’s NCAA appeal to the forfeiture of revenue from the NCAA Tournament and the vacation of records from games in which the NCAA found ineligible players participated. Pitino, the board agreed, must appeal his suspension on his own.
June 29, 2017 – U of L notifies the NCAA of its intent to appeal.
Aug. 9, 2017 – U of L files its initial response to the NCAA sanctions, calling the penalties “unjust and grossly disproportionate.”
August 25, 2017 – U of L and adidas announce an extension of their deal, making the school the flagship college program for the shoe company. The deal is worth a reported $160 million over 10 years, in cash, apparel and marketing.
September 2017 – The NCAA’s Committee on Infractions responds to U of L’s appeal, but does so using its “file docket” online system, which is private and not subject to state open records laws. As a result, neither the media nor public gets to see the NCAA’s response to the school.
Sept. 26, 2017 – In a bombshell revelation, an FBI investigation into corruption and bribery in college basketball is unsealed by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. In it, U of L is indirectly identified as a school that benefited from a scheme to funnel money from a shoe company, adidas, to the family of recruits in exchange for attending the school to play basketball and later to sign with the shoe company and others involved in the scheme once they turned pro. The school is alleged to have helped facilitate payments to the family of a player later identified to be recruit Brian Bowen, in the amount of $100,000, and a lesser amount to a second recruit. In a statement, Louisville interim president Greg Postel confirms that the school is involved in the investigation, and promises to cooperate fully with law enforcement and NCAA investigators on the matter.
Sept. 27, 2017 – U of L places Rick Pitino on unpaid administrative leave and athletic director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave while it investigates federal accusations of potential wrongdoing within the program. Postel also announces that Bowen will be withheld from team activities indefinitely as the school investigates circumstances surrounding his recruitment.
Sept. 29, 2017 – David Padgett, an assistant on Pitino’s staff, is named acting head coach.
Oct. 2, 2017 – The U of L Athletics Association board of directors votes unanimously to authorize Postel to begin the termination of Pitino’s employment.
Oct. 3, 2017 – In a letter to Pitino, Postel accuses Pitino of a “pattern and practice of inappropriate behavior” and notifies him of the board’s intent to terminate his employment.
Oct. 3, 2017 – Louisville businessman Vince Tyra is introduces as acting athletic director.
Oct. 16, 2017 – After hearing a presentation from Pitino’s attorney Steve Pence – which included 50 pages of documentation, including a letter saying Pitino had passed a polygraph examination saying he knew nothing of the alleged payments to recruits -- the athletics association board votes unanimously to fire Pitino. The board also approves a one-year contract for Padgett with a base salary of $800,000 and incentives worth another $200,000.
Oct. 18, 2017 – After hearing a presentation from Jurich’s attorneys, U of L’s board of trustees votes 10-3 to fire Jurich. It also votes to give Tyra a one-year contract worth $1.2 million, making Tyra the nation’s fourth highest-paid athletic director.
Oct. 20, 2017 – Postel notifies Jurich of his firing in a letter, writing, in part, “your own willful misconduct has also been demonstrated through ineffective management, divisive leadership, unprofessional conduct, and a lack of collegiality best characterized as intimidation and bullying that extends from student government to the University's senior leadership. This has caused substantial damage to the University.”
Oct. 31, 2017 – Louisville files its final response to the NCAA appeal responses, saying that the sanctions imposed by the NCAA were “grossly excessive.”
Nov. 22, 2017 – Louisville releases suspended player Brian Bowen to transfer to any NCAA institution and seek eligibility there. He eventually enrolls at the University of South Carolina.
Dec. 13, 2017 – Louisville interim president Greg Postel, interim athletic director Vince Tyra, consultant Chuck Smrt and university attorneys appear in person before a four-person panel of the Infractions Appeals Committee to argue the school’s case to have some NCAA penalties overturned. The meeting lasted for four hours in Atlanta.
February 20, 2018 -- The NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee upholds the Committee on Infractions original ruling, stating, "Because of the serious and intentional violations with direct involvement of a university staff member, the (COI) panel was within its legislated authority to prescribe the vacation of records and financial penalty."
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