Open records requests revealed the NCAA's response to Louisville Thursday. In the 118-page response, the NCAA rejected Louisville's defense of coach Rick Pitino. Now the NCAA case enters its final stage.
In the NCAA's original Notice of Allegations, the organization included a charge against Pitino that stated he didn't adequately monitor former program assistant Andre McGee. McGee, the former Director of Basketball Operations, was the focus of most of the NCAA's report.
The University of Louisville did not contest many of the charges against McGee, but vigorously defended Pitino, saying the Cardinals' coach did everything reasonable to ensure his program stayed compliant with NCAA rules, but that McGee had acted "furtively," keeping his activities and the parties in the dorm a secret.
The NCAA enforcement staff's response, which was sent to the school last Friday, and opened for media and the public today, argued Pitino should have done more.
In its response, UofL argued that the nature of the infractions meant propects and team members would be reluctant to tell Pitino or any of the other coaches about the activities.
While the NCAA enforcement staff "acknowledges that the nature of these inducements and benefits could create an uncomfortable atmosphere for the conversations between prospects and adults," they still believed Pitino was guilty of placing too much trust in McGee.
The NCAA report states: “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.”
The NCAA report also includes this sentence, "It is clear that neither Pitino nor his assistant coaches monitored McGee." The enforcement staff believes Pitino thought McGee to be a trustworthy extension of the coaching staff and that turned out to be clearly false.
So what happens now? Now the case enters the sanctioning phase. The NCAA committee on Infractions will review the case and hand down punishment to the University. Then the University will be given ample response time before the final sanctions are agreed to.
In response to the initial allegations and the subsequent investigation, the University banned the basketball team from the 2016 NCAA Tournament and took away a pair of scholarships from the program, both of which were taken from this past season's team.