My Take:  Notice of Allegations

Certainly a sigh of relief for Louisville fans.  The end is near.  The $300,000+ (updated figure from Jeff Greer) UL doled out for Chuck Smrt turned out to be a wise investment.  No surprises in the NOA, and seemed to be in lock step with NCAA on almost all points.  That means Smrt did his job of navigating a mess and identifying the true issues to be dealt with.  Some asked “was UL too harsh on themselves, especially after the NCAA scandal?”  I don’t think so.  This was messy and Smrt gave the recommendation.  He knows the NCAA.  This is why you pay him. This was ugly, I am sorry – we deserve a big punishment.

I was also happy to see the investigation(s) didn’t find Pitino linked to this scandal.  I didn’t think they would – especially at MINARDI HALL – but it was good to see the NCAA echo that point. Last year I maintained I’d wait and see what comes, but I would give Rick the benefit of the doubt.  He could have left many times over the years for jobs but always kept Louisville first.  I owed him that as a fan. He wasn’t tied to it. Yes it was ugly – but we also learned the “lady of the night trying to sell books” might have embellished a little.  Shocking, I know.  She has a financial incentive to embellish.  The 14K+ she claimed in a “journal” she wrote in one sitting turned out to be harder to prove than her green pen’s claim.

I think it was far better for the community as a whole to act swiftly rather than waiting for the NCAA to hand out the penalty. For one, it shows you care about the problem.  Waiting isn’t a good look.  Additionally, there is a malaise that can come over the community with such decisions which effects local economy, it isn’t just about UL.  It is about the hotels, bars, restaurants and the people at work at said establishments.  3 months is better than a 12 month hit for everyone involved, again this penalty has a ripple affect far greater than the university by itself.


There is a lot of confusion over what penalties the NCAA should use in the media.  Smrt had to repeat that there is a list of them available and that they don’t all apply.  This is a problem because people are writing articles about what should or should not happen.  They don’t understand how it works, but are trying to equate a punishment from something they don’t fully understand.  Today wasn’t about penalties, but if Smrt advisement continues to be lock step with NCAA as it seems to be so far – we are past the pain.  The media will be handing out all sorts of nonsensical penalties, because they have to.

Banner Coming Down? 

What about losing a banner due to playing ineligible players?  I offer to examples below.

Josh Selby of Kansas was ordered to pay back $5,800 and only sat out 1 semester.

Why is this interesting?

  1. The amount is more than a 4 year long UL scandal across many people vs one.
  2. The scandal amount is then reduced when you assign it to people that actually played at UL (vs lost recruits).
  3. The amount per year scales that back even more when you get into players benefit in a year. 17 parties spread across 4 years.
  4. Unless you had 1 guy taking all the benefit, you are talking about a subset of players getting  – what – $100-$200 in benefits in a  year?

“But..but…wat about Enes Kanter?  Free Enes!”.  He WAS ruled ineligible, but what is so different about him?  He played in a pro league and was given $33,000 MORE than “reasonable expenses”.  That is a lot of money, and that is 1 guy.  This is not 5K spread over 4-5 years and who knows how many players at UL that actually played here.  UL scandal benefit is peanuts by comparison.

I don’t see the banner coming down because of ineligible players.

What next?

Louisville has 90 days to respond, and seem to take issue with Pitino’s charge of essentially “failing to monitor the monitor”.  After that, NCAA agrees or not and works towards penalties, bulk of which UL self-imposed in 15/16.  Penalties included post season ban, recruiting restrictions, and reduced scholarships.  I think most people expect Pitino to get a 5-10 game suspension and that seems to be still on the table.  They are saying potential show cause, but we will see how it plays out.

Media backlash?

I could give a crap what comes next.  Click bait takes will be flying.  Banner should come down.  Pitino should be fired.  Keep them coming.  Remember, these takes are coming from people trying to help their media get eyeballs and we already discussed there is a lot of confusion about what penalties should be assessed and when.  They just don’t know, but they are still required to send out a fire take.  I will enjoy our kick ass sports teams.  It’s what we do, and that isn’t stopping.

How did Louisville handle the crisis?

I am sure the NCAA appreciates the way Louisville responded.  At great expense, they hired an adviser to run a parallel investigation.  When they discovered problems, they self-imposed penalties instead of playing chicken with the NCAA in hopes of getting off easy.  They were upfront and honest about the problems with the community and with themselves.  They pledged ongoing support to the NCAA as the process continues.  They aren’t hiding from anything.

As a fan, how did I take the news?

Relief.  You feel like celebrating, but the reality is this is an ugly stain on the university.  Its embarrassing and the school will be putting measures in place to avoid this in the future.  I’m just happy we are nearing the end.  The yearlong jokes from UK fans don’t have the same punch anymore.  Not just because the material is recycled – but because most of what they hoped for isn’t going to happen.  Pitino isn’t likely out, the banner not likely coming down – oh and guess what?  Louisville is going to be really good at basketball this year.  Top recruits still coming on board.  I would say we survived just fine…but it’s still football season, so let’s focus on getting to the college football playoffs for now.



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Former D1 Player and Coach. Life long fan of the Cardinals. CR makes movies, takes photos, co-host of "The Crunch Zone" Podcast, and can be heard on ESPN680 Wednesday 7-8:30am. Follow on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine (CrumsRevenge).

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