WARNING: The audio file embedded in the story below contains graphic language.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former University of Louisville basketball assistant coach Dino Gaudio was sentenced to one year of probation and a $10,000 fine on an extortion conviction.
“I made an error in judgement and I take full responsibility for that,” Gaudio told U.S. District Court Judge Ben Beaton. “I think this is atypical of how I lived my life. It will never happen again.”
On June 4, Gaudio pleaded guilty to Interstate Communication with Intent to Extort, a felony which carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.
But Beaton questioned why the case was even in federal court and said he would have given Gaudio a lesser sentence if possible. Gaudio received the minimum sentence.
“I do remain puzzled we are even here on a federal felony today,” he said, at one point questioning the prosecutor about the case. “This is a strange felony prosecution in my observation.”
Beaton also noted that a series of letters filed in support of Gaudio were “powerful statements that spoke to a life that went far behind the day we are here to talk about.”
Below is a recording of the meeting between Mack and Gaudio. Some of it was redacted by the university to omit "all identifying information of UofL students, prospective student athletes, and Gaudio’s birthdate":
Attorney Brian Butler, who represented Gaudio, said that Gaudio has led an exceptional life but "lost his temper and said things he shouldn't have said."
Gaudio claims Mack called a coaches’ meeting after Louisville failed to make the NCAA Tournament on March 14 in which “Mack began threatening to pull players’ scholarships.” Gaudio pushed back, telling Mack that “they had to honor their commitments to the young men they recruited,” he alleges.
Gaudio tried to extort money from the the university and injure the school's reputation during a March 17 in-person meeting with a Louisville staffer, according to prosecutors.
Gaudio, who was let go by Mack on March 18, threatened to report to the media allegations that the men's basketball team had violated NCAA rules, a charging document says.
After being told his contract was not being renewed, Gaudio threatened to release details of the violations if he was not paid his salary for an additional 17 months, according to court documents.
In addition, Gaudio sent a text to university officials containing a recruiting video he was threatening to release publicly. Gaudio claimed that the basketball team had produced recruiting videos for potential players and also violated NCAA rules in using graduate assistants in practice.
The text "traveled" outside the state, according to the document filed in U.S. District Court.
Gaudio's termination was a surprise. The one-time head coach at Wake Forest had been a mentor to Mack and the coaches have known each other for three decades.
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- Former U of L assistant basketball coach pleads guilty in federal extortion case'
- Former U of L assistant basketball coach charged in federal extortion scheme
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