Ending months of speculation, the NCAA has rejected the University of Louisville’s appeal and revoked the school’s 2013 National Championship Title.
The NCAA penalized U of L in June after an investigative committee railed the school for a sex scandal involving its men’s basketball team in which women were paid to dance and have sex with players.
The NCAA Committee on Infractions ordered, among other sanctions, that the university vacate its wins, title and money earned from post-season tournament appearances.
That means U of L must vacate records in which “student-athletes competed while ineligible during the 2011-12 through 2014-15 academic years.” And the university must also return money received through conference revenue sharing for its appearances in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 NCAA Championships, including the 2013 national title.
During a news conference Tuesday, U of L Interim President Greg Postel said the university received the NCAA ruling Monday.
“I cannot say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong,” Postel said in a written statement Tuesday. “We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case — based on NCAA precedent — that supported our argument.”
Postel called the scandal a “dark cloud” that has negatively impacted the university for over two years.
“While we disagree with the NCAA’s decision, it is time for the university to close this chapter and move forward with a stronger commitment to excellence on and off the court,” he said.
Calling the penalties “draconian,” U of L appealed the decision in August and met with the NCAA in December.
After this scandal and an FBI investigation that revealed basketball staff members paid a recruit to play for them, U of L fired former head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich.
Pitino filed suit against the university soon after, and Jurich’s lawyer threatened to sue if a fair settlement was not negotiated.
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This story has been updated.