Rick Pitino, Louisville Given NCAA Notice of Allegations over Scandal

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2020

Rick Pitino the new coach of the Greek national basketball team answers during a press conference in Athens, Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. The 67-year-old American has agreed to coach the Greek national basketball team and lead its effort to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

The University of Louisville has received a Level I Notice of Violations from the NCAA for infractions that transpired under former coach Rick Pitino, who was given a Level II notice.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports originally reported the findings.

The Level I violation is considered the most serious by NCAA standards. It's unclear what the NCAA report will say, but it is likely the school will face a postseason ban based on official penalty guidelines.

Louisville is considered a repeat offender, which will likely increase the school's punishment.

Pitino, who was recently hired as the head basketball coach at Iona, will likely be given a show-cause penalty, face a suspension and have limitations placed on his recruiting. The show-cause penalty is given to ensure the punishments stay in place for any future jobs Pitino may take.

Pitino was specifically cited for failing to "promote an environment of compliance."

Here is the release's description of the Level I notice:

"A Level I allegation that an improper recruiting offer, and subsequent extra benefits to the family of an enrolled student athlete; and a recruiting inducement to a prospective student-athlete’s non-scholastic coach/trainer, were provided by certain individuals, purportedly identified and defined by the NCAA as 'representatives of the university’s athletics interests', none of whom had traditional connections to the University beyond their affiliation with Adidas or professional athlete management entities, as well as by a former assistant coach and a former associate head coach."

Pitino responded to the notice with a statement, saying he "firmly" disagreed with the allegation:

Adam Zagoria @AdamZagoria

Iona And Rick Pitino statement on the Louisville NOA https://t.co/1CSgxzC1Zm

The NCAA's investigation centers on pay-for-play allegations that involve Louisville and Adidas executives, specifically in regard to former Cardinals player Brian Bowen. Former assistant coach Kenny Johnson is accused of paying Bowen's father $1,300 to secure his commitment, and assistant Jordan Fair is accused of paying $900 to another recruit.

Louisville was one of several schools implicated in an FBI investigation into college basketball corruption. The school fired Pitino for cause in 2017.