The Louisville Cardinals lost their appeal of what they described as "draconian" penalties from the NCAA. According to ESPN, the NCAA upheld their ruling that the Cardinals must vacate 123 regular season wins, 15 NCAA tournament victories and their 2013 National Championship.
The NCAA accused the school of violating rules to recruit players from 2011-2015. The investigation was started when Katina Powell, a former escort, alleged she was hired by former Louisville staffer Andre McGee, to perform for potential recruits at parties in the school dorms.
Louisville interim president Greg Postel said the university disagrees with the ruling and feel their cooperation during the investigation should have been a factor in the decision.
"I cannot say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong," Postel said. "We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case -- based on NCAA precedent -- that supported our argument."
Despite the ruling, Postel said the university "move forward with a stronger commitment to excellence on and off the court."
"This dark cloud has hung over our heads for more than two years, and it has had a negative impact on our athletics program, our fans and the entire university family," Postel said in his statement. "While we disagree with the NCAA's decision, it is time for the university to close this chapter and move forward with a stronger commitment to excellence on and off the court.
The vacated wins were not the only punishment handed down by the NCAA.
The Cardinals also were placed on NCAA probation for four years, which includes scholarship reductions and recruiting restrictions, a $5,000 fine and the forfeiture of any money received through conference revenue sharing from the 2012-15 NCAA tournaments. That sum could be as much as $15 million, according to published reports. The Cardinals had already self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2015-16 season.
The recruitment scandal is not the only one to rock Louisville in the past year. In September the FBI arrested ten men as part of an investigation into corruption at the school. The FBI alleges that "Adidas executives Jim Gatto and Merl Code conspired with former sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial planner Munish Sood to funnel $100,000 to the father of Louisville recruit Brian Bowen to ensure that his son signed with the Cardinals."
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