August 11, 2017

University bemoans NCAA infractions in appeal

By Shelby Brown–

U of L says the NCAA unjustly punished the university and its basketball players for the sex scandal involving Andre McGee and Katina Powell. In June, the university announced they would fight two of the NCAA’s punishments: the financial penalties and vacation of wins.

The university’s 68-page appeal, obtained through an open records request Aug. 11, states U of L is “deeply embarrassed and apologizes” for the scandal. However, the university says punishing everyone for McGee’s actions is excessive.

The appeal calls the vacating of wins “unjust and grossly disproportionate,” saying players’ careers would be erased. U of L then criticizes the committee of infractions for initially defending the players as minors not responsible for McGee’s actions, only to punish them later.

The “limited culpability” and underage status of multiple players doesn’t warrant the vacation of victories or the forfeiture of funds won in those games, according to U of L.

The appeal also states while the committee of infractions ignored U of L’s self-imposed punishments and “extraordinary” efforts to assist in the investigation. Instead, the appeal says, the committee added more punishments.

Initially, the men’s basketball team was banned from postseason play, two scholarships were cut and several recruiting opportunities were eliminated. After McGee’s actions were confirmed, he was removed from the program and U of L’s investigation deepened.

U of L continues to defend the players who, they say, “attended a party for, at most, a few minutes.”

“The COI abused its discretion by imposing such sweeping penalties, and its judgement must be reversed at least to that extent,” the appeal says.

Men’s head basketball coach Rick Pitino is also appealing the NCAA. His appeal is being filed separately from the university’s.

Read U of L’s full appeal here.

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