By Kyeland Jackson —
The FBI may be the least of U of L’s worries.
Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and School, U of L’s accrediting agency, said information on the university’s athletics program could be sent to them as “unsolicited information.”
For SACSCOC, “unsolicited information” is facts concerning the university which are sent without them requesting it.
Wheelan said the information wouldn’t be included in SACSCOC’s December meeting to decide on U of L’s accreditation.
“Their reaffirmation will be addressed this December so, no, it won’t be in with this decision, however, any item of non-compliance can be brought back to the board at any time,” Wheelan said in an email. “So, after they send in their response from the unsolicited information request, if we determine that it needs board action, in this case it would be reviewed next June.”
The program is roiling under an FBI investigation alleging coaches partnered with adidas to bribe a recruit into joining the program. Following the investigation and citing a sex scandal which involved staffers paying women to dance and have sex with men’s basketball players and recruits, U of L blasted and fired men’s head basketball coach Rick Pitino.
The university also placed athletic director Tom Jurich on paid leave, suspended men’s basketball player Brian Bowen and put two basketball staffers on leave.
SACSCOC, put the university on probation in December for three potential violations after Governor Matt Bevin reorganized the board of trustees.
Multiple audits, reports and unsolicited information sent from the university racked up more potential violations, totaling nine by September. SACSCOC’s special committee visited the university then, confirming U of L had satisfied seven potential violations. U of L Interim President Greg Postel pointed to the report to calm accreditation worries, but SACSCOC Vice President Michael Johnson said progress may not matter.
“They’re not looking to see if an institution is trying to be compliant, they’re looking to see if the institution is compliant,” Johnson said in an interview with the Cardinal. “Fixing to get compliant isn’t compliant.”
SACSCOC will meet in December to decide whether U of L ends its probation, extends its probation another year or loses its accreditation. If U of L loses its accreditation, academic degrees lose value, credits from U of L will not transfer, federal financial aid will not be available and the university cannot participate in the NCAA.
File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal