By Shelby Brown–

U of L will appeal two penalties the NCAA handed them from the Katina Powell investigation. Coach Rick Pitino’s five-game suspension will not be appealed through the university, but Pitino could himself.

Interim President Greg Postel announced the decision in a board of trustees meeting Wednesday, asking to appeal the NCAA’s rulings on vacating victories and financial penalties.

“One of those (penalties) related to the vacation of wins that occurred during the period in question, and that encompasses, of course, the tournament and title game. The second is the conference proceeds, revenue associated with those wins. Those are separate penalties, and our decision is to appeal both of them,” Postel said.

U of L has until June 30 to tell the NCAA which penalties they will appeal, and 30 days to prepare their case. Despite that deadline, Postel assures the matter isn’t being taken lightly.

“This is a studied response – as much as you can in a couple weeks – This was not a knee-jerk reaction. If one is going to conduct an appeal, you have to have some sense that the appeal is going to be successful,” he said.

Funds and wins in question were during the 2012-2015 men’s basketball tournaments, when Powell allegedly used escorts and strippers to help recruit basketball players. Postel says those seasons’ funds will number in the millions.

The NCAA began its investigation shortly after Powell published a book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” alleging U of L basketball team staffer Andrew McGee paid her for the escorts and strippers. Powell was later sued before meeting with NCAA investigators. In February 2016, U of L removed themselves from the NCAA tournament due to the allegations.

Presidential Search Process Updates

Board of trustees Chair David Grissom proposed dissolving “separately appointed” presidential search committees. Going forward, the search for U of L’s next president will be led by the board “as a body.” Grissom said he erased those committees, in part, for being too big.

“I made a mistake,” Grissom said. “I erred on the side of being too inclusive and found that the group was just a little too large and unwieldy. So, we’ve reversed course.”

The resolution recommends all trustees be involved in every step, rather than dividing up. When asked if the move silences faculty input on the search, Grissom said outreach programs will gather input from all constituents.

Agreements with University Medical Center

Postel signed revised academic affiliation and lease agreements with the University Medical Center, a move tabled June 15 per Grissom’s request to give trustee’s time to thoroughly read the documents.

“This is really just a bifurcation (division) of the previous academic affiliation agreement into two parts. One still with KentuckyOne Health for Jewish and Frazier and the new one as it relates to U of L Hospital,” Postel said.

The agreement removes KentuckyOne and limits the affiliation agreement with the U of L Hospital to two years. The agreement also promises more financial support from UMC to U of L.

Photo by Shelby Brown/ The Louisville Cardinal