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Louisville's Chris Mack Suspended for Not Following Guidelines amid Extortion Attempt

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2021

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The University of Louisville announced Friday men's basketball head coach Chris Mack will be suspended six games without pay for failing to following school guidelines after an extortion attempt by former assistant coach Dino Gaudio, who left the Cardinals program in March.

Here's the full statement, via CBS Sports' Matt Norlander:

Matt Norlander @MattNorlander

News: Louisville has suspended men’s basketball coach Chris Mack without pay for the first six games of the upcoming season. <a href="https://t.co/JHnBkm8QM9">pic.twitter.com/JHnBkm8QM9</a>

In June, Gaudio reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors to avoid prison time, instead receiving probation and a fine in exchange for pleading guilty to a charge of interstate communication with intent to extort, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors said in court documents Gaudio threatened to expose potential NCAA violations, including use of "production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and in the use of its graduate assistants in practices," if the program didn't pay him 17 months of additional salary or a lump-sum payment of $425,000 after being informed his contract wouldn't be renewed, per the AP.

Gaudio served as an assistant to Mack on the Louisville staff since 2018.

The 64-year-old Ohio native previously served as a head coach at Army (1993-97), Loyola (1997-2000) and Wake Forest (2007-10) as part of a 31-year coaching career.

Louisville was already under NCAA investigation for a potential "failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance by former Cardinals coach Rick Pitino," who led the program from 2001 through 2017, which included evidence from the 2017 FBI probe into corruption in college basketball that led to the arrest of 10 people.

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The NCAA hasn't announced whether it will investigate Gaudio's allegations about the program as part of either that investigation or a separate one.

Meanwhile, Mack will be prohibited from contact with Cardinals basketball players during the suspension, which will run from Nov. 8 through Nov. 27. He'll lose $221,000 in salary.

The ban will include the Baha Mar Hoops Nassau Championship tournament in the Bahamas in late November.

Louisville's full schedule for the 2021-22 season hasn't been announced, but Mack is scheduled to return ahead of a marquee clash with Michigan State on Dec. 1.

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