Rick Pitino Charged By NCAA, Louisville Avoids Any Further Penalties

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been charged by the NCAA with failure to monitor his program.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been charged by the NCAA with failure to monitor his program. These charges are in response to the sex scandal allegations made against the university in October of 2015. The NCAA’s notice of allegations was composed of four Level I charges – along with Pitino’s charge, two were handed to former director of basketball operations Andre McGee and one was given to former assistant coach Brandon Williams.

All things considered, these charges could’ve been much more significant for the hallmark program. The reality of the situation is that the University of Louisville itself could have faced much more severe penalties from the NCAA, including failure to monitor or lack of institutional control. Instead, Pitino will likely be the only one facing harsh discipline, with the university avoiding the NCAA’s strictest violations.

Katina Powell, the former escort who made the accusations against Louisville, said that McGee paid her and other escorts for sex with recruits and players. The NCAA has determined that McGee’s transactions can be inferred as impermissible benefits.

Pitino claims to have no knowledge of these incidents ever taking place, but due to recent NCAA legislation, a head coach is still presumed responsible and will be held accountable for any actions of his/her staff members. Pitino’s supposed lack of awareness in this situation, essentially, cannot defend him from the NCAA’s charges.

Louisville president Dr. Neville Pinto and athletic director Tom Jurich released a joint statement on the situation.

“We believe that Mr. McGee acted furtively and note that the NOA does not indicate that any other university employee besides Mr. McGee had knowledge of these activities,” the statement reads. “We are confident in Coach Pitino and we know he is and always has been committed to NCAA compliance.”

Both Pinto and Jurich plan to appeal the charges against the head coach.

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