CRAWFORD | Former Louisville program assistant wins NCAA appeal in sex-for-recruits case
Former University of Louisville program assistant Brandon Williams had all penalties against him vacated by the NCAA’s Infractions Appeals Committee on Friday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Former University of Louisville program assistant Brandon Williams had all penalties against him vacated by the NCAA’s Infractions Appeals Committee on Friday.
Williams had been issued a one-year show cause penalty by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions for failing to turn over records from a personal cell phone that was in his mother’s name.
The committee argued that since he let investigators look at the phone to see current calls made on it that he could produce records from prior dates. The committee also argued that Williams matched the description of a man Katina Powell wrote in her book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” who had given her $200 before she took her daughter to meet prospect Antonio Blakeney and his father at a Louisville hotel. (When shown pictures of several men, including Williams, by NCAA investigators later, Powell could not identify any as the man who gave her the money, but when asked which most resembled the man, pointed to Williams.)
The appeals committee ruled that since Williams was otherwise cooperative in all matters, turning over phone records and personal banking records from multiple accounts, as well as submitting to interviews, and since he did not have the authority to produce the records from a cell phone registered to his mother, he was not guilty of unethical conduct and should not face the penalties handed out by the infractions committee.
Williams, who currently is coaching at a high school in Florida, now is free to seek employment with NCAA schools without restriction. But the damage to his reputation has been done, according to his attorney, Peter Ginsburg.
Ginsburg, who took on Williams’ case near the end of the NCAA investigation, told The Courier-Journal last June when the infractions committee issued its penalties; “"In this case, the NCAA has shown once again that it can impose on people’s lives, invade people’s lives without any basis and push and push and push. Brandon fully cooperated. The NCAA still could find no evidence, so the NCAA pushed even more."
In its decision, the appeals committee acknowledged the importance of cooperating with the NCAA infractions process, but added, “A finding of failure to cooperate should not extend to a situation where there is adherence to all other manner of requests and failure to cooperate is predicated on failing to produce records that are not the individual’s to produce and were not placed in the authority of an individual not subject to the NCAA obligation of cooperation for purposes of avoiding their potential production.”
The ruling affects no other aspects of penalties handed to the University of Louisville.
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