The NCAA has just ordered the University of Louisville to vacate its 2013 men's basketball championship as a historic punishment for a sex scandal. The move strikes years of wins and player statistics from official records and marks the first men's basketball championship in NCAA history to be struck down.
The sex scandal tarnished one of college basketball's most successful programs and the University made the announcement Tuesday after losing an appeal of the sanctions. The ruling was initially handed down in June of 2017 but was appealed and only recently lost the appeal.
The University of Louisville must vacate victories between 2001 and 2015 as well as its 2012 Final Four appearance. It must also return $600,000 in post-season revenue as well as remove statistics of players during that time period.
The university's president President Greg Postel said, "I cannot say this strongly enough. We believe the NCAA is simply wrong to have made this decision."
The University insisted that the NCAA's infractions committee overstepped its bounds during a review of stripping and sex-themed parties which included prostitutes at a basketball dormitory.
They also claim the NCAA violated its own guidelines and procedures. Postel also criticized the decision by the NCAA's infractions appeals committee saying the NCAA "ignored" the university's cooperation in the college athletics governing body's investigation.
Postel says the university noted "significant inconsistencies" with the NCAA's enforcement in similar cases and was hopeful the penalties would be reduced. Ultimately, the appeals committee agreed with the infractions panel that athletes knew or should have known they were receiving improper benefits.
Part of the committee's appeal ruling reads, "Because this case involved serious and intentional violations, which Louisville agreed were reprehensible and inexcusable …, direct involvement of an institutional staff member, and a large number of violations, the Committee on Infractions was within its legislative authority to impose the vacation of records penalty."
Postel also added, "The pain this decision has created for our fans and our players were not involved in the events in question is perhaps the most regretful result of this determination."
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