Rick Pitino suspended 5 ACC games, 2013 title in jeopardy after sex scandal ruling

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CBS Sports) — The NCAA Committee on Infractions has ruled that Louisville coach Rick Pitino failed to properly monitor his men’s basketball program and suspended the Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer for the first five ACC games of the 2017-18 season.

Louisville will not be banned from future postseasons. So that’s a win. But the NCAA announced Thursday that Louisville must vacate all “basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 [to] July 2014.” That suggests Louisville’s 2012 Final Four and 2013 national championship are in jeopardy.

Basically, if Louisville and/or the NCAA concludes in the coming months that an ineligible player competed in the 2012 and/or 2013 NCAA Tournament, those appearances will be vacated. No school has ever been forced to vacate a men’s basketball championship.

The other penalties — scholarship reductions, recruiting limitations, four years of probation, fees etc., — are mostly considered minor. Greg Postel, Louisville’s interim president, said in a statement that the penalties were “excessive” and “went beyond what we consider to be fair and reasonable.” Postel said the university will appeal all of the NCAA’s sanctions that were not self-imposed.

Louisville’s NCAA case dates back to August 2015 – when a self-proclaimed escort named Katina Powell alleged in a book that former Louisville staffer Andre McGee — whom the NCAA hit with a 10-year show-cause penalty on Thursday — paid for dances and sex on behalf of Louisville players and prospects.

Louisville immediately launched its own investigation that resulted in the school self-imposing penalties in February 2016 that included a postseason ban for the 2015-16 team that finished 23-8 and ranked seventh at KenPom. In October 2016, the NCAA charged Louisville with four Level I violations.

The case went before the Committee on Infractions in April. And now, two months later, the ruling is in.

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