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NCAA issues sanctions against Rick Pitino, Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball program

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Violations stem from “sex acts” during recruiting trips

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Michigan vs Louisville Thomas Joseph-USA TODAY Sports

The long-awaited NCAA infractions report concerning the Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball program and head coach Rick Pitino came down on Thursday, and it may cost the Cardinals their 2013 national championship.

Due to Pitino failing to monitor recruiting activities orchestrated by a program assistant—activities which, in the NCAA’s words, included “striptease dances and sex acts for prospects”—Louisville is being forced to vacate wins from December 2010 through July 2014. That would include the Cardinals’ NCAA Tournament title from 2013 over Trey Burke and the Michigan Wolverines, although the infractions report did not state specifically that the title would be vacated.

Pitino is also suspended for the first five games of Louisville’s 2017-18 ACC schedule. His suspension bars him not just from coaching the games, but also from “team travel, practice, video study and team meetings.”

Additional sanctions include loss of revenue, loss of scholarships and recruiting visits, and the 2015-16 postseason ban, all of which Louisville self-imposed. You can view the full report here.

It is unclear how the sanctions will affect UVA directly. With Louisville being designated as the Cavaliers’ rival for scheduling purposes, the Hoos play Pitino’s squad twice a year. But since UofL joined the ACC in 2015, Virginia has only been one of Louisville’s first five ACC opponents once: the 2017 season, when it was the first conference game for each squad.

On the recruiting front, there are a few prospects at the top of Tony Bennett’s wish list that are also interested in Louisville. Shooting guard AJ Reeves is a national top 100 prospect from Massachusetts, and had listed both UVA and Louisville among his final four.