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NCAA Says Rick Pitino Did Not Properly Handle Louisville Recruiting Sex Scandal

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts to their 69-73 loss to the Michigan Wolverines during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The NCAA determined Louisville Cardinals head basketball coach Rick Pitino didn't offer proper oversight of the program while former director of basketball operations Andre McGee committed recruiting violations. 

Eric Crawford and Marcus Green of WDRB in Louisville provided part of the NCAA's rationale: "Pitino did not supplement his trust in McGee with frequent spot-checks, including actively looking for and evaluating red flags, asking pointed questions and regularly soliciting honest feedback to determine if monitoring systems existed or were functioning properly."

Crawford shared a statement from the school:

Eric Crawford @ericcrawford

Statement from U of L on NCAA response https://t.co/RmRy1ihQyk

Last October, the NCAA concluded its investigation into allegations from a former escort in Louisville that McGee helped orchestrate sex parties for prospective recruits at an on-campus dorm and found the Cardinals committed four Level I violations.

The school wrote a letter in January accepting most of the NCAA's charges but asking for leniency toward Pitino.

"The university believes that Coach Pitino fostered a culture of NCAA compliance within the basketball program and exercised appropriate supervisory oversight of McGee," Louisville wrote, per the Courier-Journal's Jeff Greer and Danielle Lerner. "McGee's furtive conduct was not detectable by reasonable monitoring practices, as McGee purposefully intended to avoid detection."

The NCAA, however, disagreed with that assessment.

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Prior to the NCAA's ruling in October, Louisville issued a self-imposed postseason ban for the 2015-16 season. The team returned to the Big Dance this year, where it lost to the Michigan Wolverines in the second round.

Crawford and Green noted the NCAA's decision Thursday means the Cardinals could face additional punishment, which may come this summer from the organization's committee on infractions.

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