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Louisville said the NCAA "abused" its authority when it disciplined the school for a sex scandal that could result in the loss of its national basketball championship. The school also said in a page appeal released Friday that the governing body imposed "draconian" penalties and ignored the school's self-imposed discipline. Louisville banned itself from the postseason after its investigation uncovered violations.
This is the latest step in a case that began nearly two years ago. Escort Katina Powell alleged in a book that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers for sex parties with recruits and players from to The NCAA said Louisville must vacate up to victories in which ineligible players received improper benefits.
Additionally, the school was placed on four years' probation and ordered to return money received through conference revenue sharing for appearances in the NCAA men's basketball championships. McGee, the former basketball operations director, received a year, show-cause penalty from the governing body. If Louisville's penalties are upheld, the school noted that it would mark the first time a Division I men's basketball title would be vacated.
Louisville's appeal cited bylaws that provide that the NCAA Committee on Infractions "may" vacate victories and require forfeiture of revenues upon determining that a student-athlete competed while ineligible. Both penalties hinge on the participation, the response added, are discretionary and could be deemed inappropriate if the student-athlete isn't culpable for misconduct and received a negligible benefit that could restore eligibility.
The appeal contends that the COI didn't follow those principles and penalized Louisville entirely because of McGee's "egregious" actions. While a severe penalty was required, the response disputed whether student-athletes' misconduct justified purging their records and returning money.