NCAA grants referral of Louisville infractions case to IARP

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The NCAA has granted Louisville’s request for its infractions case to be resolved through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process created in the aftermath of a federal corruption investigation of college basketball.

College sports’ governing body announced its referral to the IARP on its website Friday. It comes after the NCAA stood by its charges of rules violations by the program, including a failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance by former Cardinals coach Rick Pitino.

Louisville had challenged the allegations and asked that several violations be reclassified before requesting referral to a process that reviews select complex infractions cases.

“Consistent with rules and procedures governing the process, details about the matter will remain confidential until the Independent Resolution Panel releases its decision,” the NCAA stated on the site.

Louisville said in a statement that it “looks forward to the fair resolution of this matter.”

Kansas, North Carolina State, Arizona, Memphis and LSU also have had infractions cases referred to the IARP for resolution.

The IARP was created in response to recommendations by the Commission of College Basketball. Decisions through the process, which involves independent investigators and advocators, are final.

The Notice of Allegations followed a two-year NCAA investigation begun after a federal corruption probe of college basketball announced in September 2017. Louisville acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation related to the recruitment of former player Brian Bowen II.

Pitino, who’s now coaching Iona, was not named in the federal complaint and has consistently denied authorizing or having knowledge of a payment to a recruit’s family.

Louisville has previously indicated it would accept responsibility for violations it committed but would contest allegations it believed were not supported by facts. The school also noted corrective measures taken in the scandal’s immediate aftermath, such as suspending and then firing Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.

Louisville, which is currently on probation for sanctions for a sex scandal, refuted the charge that Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance in its response last fall. The school also said the allegations ignored wire fraud convictions against several people involved in a scheme to direct recruits to the school, including a former executive of sportswear supplier Adidas.

The school’s response also stated it shouldn’t be held responsible for Adidas’ conduct. The NCAA stood by its findings.

“It is not a violation of NCAA rules for a corporate entity to be a representative of an institution’s athletics interests,” the governing body stated in its Enforcement Written Reply sent to Louisville in December. “However, an institution is responsible for NCAA rules violations committed by one of its representatives.”

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