After five years of waiting, the University of Louisville has answers regarding their case from the NCAA’s Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP).
Sanctions towards the program are mild. A $5,000 fine, a two-year probation period lasting till Nov. 2, 2024, and multiple recruiting penalties were handed down to the program. Louisville was not given a post-season ban, which is what some feared since Louisville is a repeat offender.
This case stems from the September 2017 FBI probe looking into bribery in college basketball recruiting. Brian Bowen, a former 5-star recruit, and his family were believed to have been persuaded for monetary reasons, by Adidas representatives, to attend the University of Louisville, an Adidas school. Bowen got to campus, but was eventually suspended and ultimately transferred from the university.
When this situation came to light, Louisville fired both head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich. In 2018, after a season with interim head coach David Padgett, Louisville hired Chris Mack from Xavier. Long story short, the Cardinals now have a different head coach in 2022, and further recruiting infractions, committed during the Mack era, were added to the ongoing case making the university a repeat offender.
The IARP found there to be only one Level I violation, and all Level II violations originally levied to the school were concluded to be Level III. Pitino and Mack received no punishment. Former assistant coaches Kenny Johnson, now at Rhode Island, and Jordan Fair, were handed a two-year show-cause penalties.
Ultimately, the IARP found Pitino guilty of no wrongdoing. They concluded Pitino “demonstrated he promoted an atmosphere of compliance.” Pitino held a press conference today.
The main point of the case was if the Adidas representatives could be categorized as school boosters like the NCAA argued. The IARP disagreed, thus the ruling today. “The hearing panel concluded that the case record did not provide sufficient or credible information to conclude that the apparel company was a representative of athletics interests.”
The full document released by the IARP can be found here.
Louisville Basketball, its fans and its supporters now have closure and can finally move on.
The IARP, formed in 2019, is a 15-person panel that was created at the suggestion of the Rice Commission on College Basketball. That commission was formed after the FBI’s investigation into bribery and fraud in college basketball became public.
Arizona, Kansas, and LSU still have IARP cases waiting to be finalized. The IARP will dissolve once all four are completed.
“From Our Haus to Yours!”