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Former Louisville Basketball Assistant Dino Gaudio Charged with Extortion

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVMay 19, 2021

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Former Louisville assistant coach Dino Gaudio is facing federal charges of extortion.

Following the end of the 2020-21 season, Louisville declined to renew the contracts of Gaudio and Luke Murray. According to Hayley Minogue of WHAS11 News in Louisville, Kentucky, Gaudio allegedly demanded a payment from the school in exchange for keeping quiet about possible NCAA violations:

WLKY's Andrew Chernoff shared a copy of the filing by U.S. Attorney Michael Bennett:

According to Bennett, Gaudio allegedly threatened to expose details about how Louisville produced videos for recruiting targets and used graduate assistants in practices. Gaudio also allegedly sent one of the offending videos to a member of the Cardinals staff.

Louisville said in a statement it "cannot comment further due to the ongoing federal investigation and the NCAA process." The school added it's cooperating with federal authorities and the NCAA.

Head coach Chris Mack added he's "grateful for the professionalism of members of law enforcement and the United States Attorney's Office." Mack added he and Louisville were "victims" in Gaudio's scheme.

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WDRB's Rick Bozich wrote in April the explanation for Gaudio and Murray's departures remained a bit of a mystery. That was a month after Kentucky Sports Radio's Matt Jones reported there was "lots of turmoil right now behind the scenes" in the program in the immediate aftermath of their departures.

The narrative around Gaudio will undoubtedly take a different turn.

Mack assumed his current role in 2018 while Louisville was still dealing with the fallout from multiple scandals during the tenure of Rick Pitino.

Pitino was suspended in June 2017 after a former director of basketball operations arranged for escorts at parties for some members of the team and prospective recruits. He was fired that October after the university became ensnared in the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball.

Last May, the NCAA sent a notice of allegations to Louisville about a Level I violation regarding the recruitment of Brian Bowen II. The notice also included three Level II violations. 

While the alleged violations Gaudio referenced don't appear to be too serious in nature, the Cardinals once again find themselves at the center of off-court drama.

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