Louisville Calls NCAA Penalties 'Draconian' in Appeal Letter

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2017

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino walks off the court after a 73-69 loss to Michigan in a second-round game in the men's NCAA college basketball tournament Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The University of Louisville called the NCAA's sanctions "draconian" in an appeal letter filed this week after its former director of basketball operations, Andre McGee, was found to have previously made strippers and prostitutes available to players and recruits. 

According to the Courier-Journal's Jeff Greer, Louisville is arguing the NCAA should scale back the punishments since the school self-imposed sanctions before the investigation was completed. 

Those self-imposed sanctions included a 2016 postseason ban and recruiting restrictions. 

The NCAA evidently didn't think those penalties were harsh enough. 

On June 15, the New York Times' Marc Tracy reported head coach Rick Pitino will be suspended for the first five ACC games Louisville plays next season and that the school may have to vacate "dozens" of victories, including its 2013 national championship. 

Greer added Louisville could be ordered to pay back more than $5 million it earned during NCAA tournament appearances when the infractions took place. 

"We believe the penalties imposed today are unfair to the U of L community and our current and former student-athletes, many of whom have already paid a heavy price for actions that did not involve them," interim university president Greg Postel said in a June statement. "This ruling is also unfair to Coach Pitino, who we believe could not have known about the illicit activities."

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