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doss2 Offline
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Louisville swamp
Scandal, Is It Time to Put Men's Basketball Program in NCAA-Induced Coma?
How many embarrassments are too many for the Louisville men's basketball program?
PAT FORDE10 HOURS AGO
A tradition like no other: Louisville basketball and extortion plots.

Seriously, this is the extent of the outlandish weirdness that the men’s program wears like a retch-inducing cheap cologne: for the second time in a dozen years, the Cardinals say they are the victims of a bizarre blackmail scheme requiring federal intervention. There was Rick Pitino’s extortion at the hands of a woman he had sex with in a restaurant, which put Karen Sypher behind bars for years; and there is the current case that blew up Tuesday when former assistant coach Dino Gaudio was federally charged for allegedly threatening in March to turn over NCAA violations to the media if his demands for money weren’t met.

What in the actual hell?

But wait, there also is the slalom through scandal between the bookend extortions: the strippers in the dorm that were arranged and paid for by a Louisville staffer, which led to major NCAA sanctions; and the Brian Bowen payola scam that was part of the Southern District of New York’s exposure of corruption in college basketball, which is still winding its way through the NCAA crime-and-punishment process.

Now blackmail. Again! This time from the inside! “This isn’t an outside party, like the last one,” as one impressed/aghast college basketball source put it. “This is brother-on-brother crime.”

This is, according to the charging document, what went down on March 17, three days after Louisville was left out of the men's NCAA tournament: In an “in-person meeting with Louisville personnel,” Gaudio threatened to report violations pertaining to production of recruiting videos for athletes and the use of graduate assistants in practices. Later that day, per the document, Gaudio also sent via text one of the recruiting videos to “Louisville personnel,” with the text having “traveled” outside the state of Kentucky.


Gaudio, per the feds, was seeking 17 months of salary, or the lump-sum equivalent. The exchanges occurred after Gaudio was informed by head coach Chris Mack—who Gaudio has known for about 30 years—that his contract wasn’t being renewed. He has been charged with Interstate Communication with Intent to Extort, a felony which carries a penalty of no more than two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“The University and I were the victims of Coach Gaudio’s conduct and I will continue to fully cooperate with authorities in their investigations,” Mack said in a statement.

Brian Butler, attorney for Gaudio, told Sports Illustrated that Gaudio was blindsided by his termination and that the conversation with Mack “became heated. Coach Gaudio was hurt, he was angry, he felt he was being dealt with unfairly, and he made comments he regrets. And he wasn’t given the chance to walk those back.”

And the comments are on tape, according to Butler, without Gaudio’s knowledge.

“Coach Gaudio intends to take full responsibility for his mistake,” Butler said. “He hopes that all the good he has done in 40 years in the coaching profession will put that mistake in context of a moment of hurt and anger. We expect this to be resolved expeditiously."

So here we are, with the latest tumult in a program that has cornered the market on crazy. You can search high and low for one college basketball team ensnared in an extortion fiasco. This one has two on the books. In this area alone, the Cardinals have returned to No. 1 status for the first time since 2013, when it won a national title … which was subsequently vacated.


I mean, Bobby Petrino’s two tenures as football coach were boring compared to the string of crackpot happenings in hoops.

Much as Pitino learned in 2009, being the victim of extortion doesn’t alleviate the spotlight on what led to being extorted. And if Louisville committed a third set of NCAA violations within the past few years, as Gaudio alleged, they might as well turn the Yum Center into America’s biggest flea market and shut the program down for a few years.

If Gaudio’s allegations are substantiated—and the school did nothing to refute them in its statement Tuesday—Louisville’s NCAA caseload may be reaching critical mass. How this is handled by NCAA Enforcement (or its alternate body, the Independent Accountability Review Process, which has been dealing with the Bowen case) will be very important.

According to sources familiar with NCAA charging guidelines, these are likely to be considered Level II or III violations, perhaps tilting more toward Level III. A Level II violation—a “significant breach of conduct”—could be trouble for the Cardinals, given all the other baggage. Level III is considered more inadvertent violations or infractions that produce “minimal advantages.”


The use of graduate assistants in practice was deemed a Level II violation in a recent ruling in an NCAA case involving UTEP football. But as anyone who has operated in the NCAA infractions space knows, these are not one-size-fits-all cases. If there is video of Mack running practices with the GAs involved in an impermissible way—especially if it’s a regular occurrence—that would seem to heighten the risk for Louisville.

So would cumulative effect. When the infractions pile up higher than the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs, that’s a problem.

According to NCAA bylaws, one of the “aggravating circumstances” that can ratchet up penalties, is history of violations. And, boy howdy, does Louisville have some recent history. As one lawyer with knowledge of the process put it, the question in a potential hearing setting could well be, “Why is your school here again?”

Which brings us to an existential question that could be germane to both an infractions committee and everyone else with a stake in college athletics: Does the world really need Louisville men’s basketball?

Would it be the worst thing if it went into an NCAA-induced coma and then reawakened in, say, 2024? Would the so-called NCAA Death Penalty be too strict for a program that has become Repeat Violatorville? How many embarrassments are too many? How much is a chronic source of controversy worth? What is the tolerance level for bad headlines?


The Atlantic Coast Conference, which was rather elastic in stretching its academic rep to bring in Louisville in 2014, might be asking those questions. So might the school’s own administration, which has worked hard to upgrade its academic profile.

When your last two full-time head men’s basketball coaches have both been blackmailed, things are not good. And when there were two major scandals in between those extortions, things are worse. Aside from providing prurient interest for a public that is perpetually amused by the underbelly of college basketball, Louisville isn’t contributing much to the sport.
 
05-19-2021 05:16 AM
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dave108 Online
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 05:16 AM)doss2 Wrote:  Scandal, Is It Time to Put Men's Basketball Program in NCAA-Induced Coma?
How many embarrassments are too many for the Louisville men's basketball program?
PAT FORDE10 HOURS AGO
A tradition like no other: Louisville basketball and extortion plots.

Seriously, this is the extent of the outlandish weirdness that the men’s program wears like a retch-inducing cheap cologne: for the second time in a dozen years, the Cardinals say they are the victims of a bizarre blackmail scheme requiring federal intervention. There was Rick Pitino’s extortion at the hands of a woman he had sex with in a restaurant, which put Karen Sypher behind bars for years; and there is the current case that blew up Tuesday when former assistant coach Dino Gaudio was federally charged for allegedly threatening in March to turn over NCAA violations to the media if his demands for money weren’t met.

What in the actual hell?

But wait, there also is the slalom through scandal between the bookend extortions: the strippers in the dorm that were arranged and paid for by a Louisville staffer, which led to major NCAA sanctions; and the Brian Bowen payola scam that was part of the Southern District of New York’s exposure of corruption in college basketball, which is still winding its way through the NCAA crime-and-punishment process.

Now blackmail. Again! This time from the inside! “This isn’t an outside party, like the last one,” as one impressed/aghast college basketball source put it. “This is brother-on-brother crime.”

This is, according to the charging document, what went down on March 17, three days after Louisville was left out of the men's NCAA tournament: In an “in-person meeting with Louisville personnel,” Gaudio threatened to report violations pertaining to production of recruiting videos for athletes and the use of graduate assistants in practices. Later that day, per the document, Gaudio also sent via text one of the recruiting videos to “Louisville personnel,” with the text having “traveled” outside the state of Kentucky.


Gaudio, per the feds, was seeking 17 months of salary, or the lump-sum equivalent. The exchanges occurred after Gaudio was informed by head coach Chris Mack—who Gaudio has known for about 30 years—that his contract wasn’t being renewed. He has been charged with Interstate Communication with Intent to Extort, a felony which carries a penalty of no more than two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

“The University and I were the victims of Coach Gaudio’s conduct and I will continue to fully cooperate with authorities in their investigations,” Mack said in a statement.

Brian Butler, attorney for Gaudio, told Sports Illustrated that Gaudio was blindsided by his termination and that the conversation with Mack “became heated. Coach Gaudio was hurt, he was angry, he felt he was being dealt with unfairly, and he made comments he regrets. And he wasn’t given the chance to walk those back.”

And the comments are on tape, according to Butler, without Gaudio’s knowledge.

“Coach Gaudio intends to take full responsibility for his mistake,” Butler said. “He hopes that all the good he has done in 40 years in the coaching profession will put that mistake in context of a moment of hurt and anger. We expect this to be resolved expeditiously."

So here we are, with the latest tumult in a program that has cornered the market on crazy. You can search high and low for one college basketball team ensnared in an extortion fiasco. This one has two on the books. In this area alone, the Cardinals have returned to No. 1 status for the first time since 2013, when it won a national title … which was subsequently vacated.


I mean, Bobby Petrino’s two tenures as football coach were boring compared to the string of crackpot happenings in hoops.

Much as Pitino learned in 2009, being the victim of extortion doesn’t alleviate the spotlight on what led to being extorted. And if Louisville committed a third set of NCAA violations within the past few years, as Gaudio alleged, they might as well turn the Yum Center into America’s biggest flea market and shut the program down for a few years.

If Gaudio’s allegations are substantiated—and the school did nothing to refute them in its statement Tuesday—Louisville’s NCAA caseload may be reaching critical mass. How this is handled by NCAA Enforcement (or its alternate body, the Independent Accountability Review Process, which has been dealing with the Bowen case) will be very important.

According to sources familiar with NCAA charging guidelines, these are likely to be considered Level II or III violations, perhaps tilting more toward Level III. A Level II violation—a “significant breach of conduct”—could be trouble for the Cardinals, given all the other baggage. Level III is considered more inadvertent violations or infractions that produce “minimal advantages.”


The use of graduate assistants in practice was deemed a Level II violation in a recent ruling in an NCAA case involving UTEP football. But as anyone who has operated in the NCAA infractions space knows, these are not one-size-fits-all cases. If there is video of Mack running practices with the GAs involved in an impermissible way—especially if it’s a regular occurrence—that would seem to heighten the risk for Louisville.

So would cumulative effect. When the infractions pile up higher than the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs, that’s a problem.

According to NCAA bylaws, one of the “aggravating circumstances” that can ratchet up penalties, is history of violations. And, boy howdy, does Louisville have some recent history. As one lawyer with knowledge of the process put it, the question in a potential hearing setting could well be, “Why is your school here again?”

Which brings us to an existential question that could be germane to both an infractions committee and everyone else with a stake in college athletics: Does the world really need Louisville men’s basketball?

Would it be the worst thing if it went into an NCAA-induced coma and then reawakened in, say, 2024? Would the so-called NCAA Death Penalty be too strict for a program that has become Repeat Violatorville? How many embarrassments are too many? How much is a chronic source of controversy worth? What is the tolerance level for bad headlines?


The Atlantic Coast Conference, which was rather elastic in stretching its academic rep to bring in Louisville in 2014, might be asking those questions. So might the school’s own administration, which has worked hard to upgrade its academic profile.

When your last two full-time head men’s basketball coaches have both been blackmailed, things are not good. And when there were two major scandals in between those extortions, things are worse. Aside from providing prurient interest for a public that is perpetually amused by the underbelly of college basketball, Louisville isn’t contributing much to the sport.

get the popcorn and raisinets, this one could be pretty fun to watch..........
 
05-19-2021 05:50 AM
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doss2 Offline
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RE: Louisville swamp
Is the ACC having buyers remorse? No as that would require standards.
 
05-19-2021 06:08 AM
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BearcatJerry Offline
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RE: Louisville swamp
The funny thing about "blackmail" is that, if you don't do stuff that is illegal or embarrassing, then you keep yourself pretty safe from being blackmailed. I know Louisville is going to position themselves as the "victim" and Gaudio as the "bad-guy"...and he's certainly not a "good guy" or noble person by any stretch of the definition...but if they didn't run a dirty program, they could avoid all this.

But then again, let's not forget that this is precisely the stuff the "average" Louisville fan really gets off on. They really do like the "black-hat" image of school that will go the "extra distance" to win, and if that offends ordinary sensibilities then so much the better.
 
05-19-2021 06:18 AM
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BearcatJerry Offline
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 06:08 AM)doss2 Wrote:  Is the ACC having buyers remorse? No as that would require standards.

The ACC "standards" go the other direction. FSU ("Free Shoes University") has had issues with football players engaging in serial criminal activity over the years and a wide-spread student-athlete cheating scandal. North Carolina, of course, had a scandal where men's basketball players had their courses and grades fabricated. Miami has had repeated scandals around boosters and drugs. Louisville...well, they fit right in.

(And that doesn't even count the Boston College points shaving scandal that inspired the movie "Goodfellas," which did not happen under the ACC but also didn't seem to bother the ACC much...)

Face it: this is nothing. The NCAA will do nothing about this. The ACC will do nothing...can do nothing...about this. Louisville is in the club. They'll "self impose" some sort of "punishment"--a lost scholarship or two, maybe a "post-season ban" if they don't think they'll get a bid anyway, a new "compliance" officer who will sit on the basketball program for a year or two--there will be "apologies" and "promises" that this "will not happen again." Yadda yadda yadda.
 
05-19-2021 06:27 AM
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bearcatdp Online
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RE: Louisville swamp
Maybe Brannen would be a good assistant at Louisville.
 
05-19-2021 07:04 AM
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RE: Louisville swamp
Paul Daugherty thinks what is happening at UC is worse than anything that has happened at UL.
 
05-19-2021 07:06 AM
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OKIcat Offline
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 07:04 AM)bearcatdp Wrote:  Maybe Brannen would be a good assistant at Louisville.

I've actually wondered about that. Did this move open a position on Mack's staff?
 
05-19-2021 07:46 AM
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RE: Louisville swamp
Stellar off season for both JB and his best buddy.
 
05-19-2021 08:00 AM
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bearcatdp Online
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 07:06 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  Paul Daugherty thinks what is happening at UC is worse than anything that has happened at UL.

Maybe he's working in the wrong city.
 
05-19-2021 08:50 AM
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Dannyboy Offline
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RE: Louisville swamp
Repeat major violations got SMU the death penalty. Louisville has repeat major violations and now this. Enough is enough.
 
05-19-2021 09:39 AM
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doss2 Offline
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 09:39 AM)Dannyboy Wrote:  Repeat major violations got SMU the death penalty. Louisville has repeat major violations and now this. Enough is enough.

If NCAA violations were not enough consider the violation of decorum. Ricky P doing an assistant coaches wife on the table in an Italian Eatery. Bringing in hookers. Come on Man. It is a cesspool!
 
05-19-2021 10:02 AM
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 09:39 AM)Dannyboy Wrote:  Repeat major violations got SMU the death penalty. Louisville has repeat major violations and now this. Enough is enough.

I think the NCAA death penalty itself is dead and buried. The NCAA won't shut down a P5 because of the problems it would create with contractual broadcast/streaming rights for the ACC. Even if the NCAA threatened to do so, it would only hasten the ACC and the other P conferences withdrawing and forming their own entity (which is probably going to happen soon anyway).
 
05-19-2021 10:25 AM
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 10:25 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  
(05-19-2021 09:39 AM)Dannyboy Wrote:  Repeat major violations got SMU the death penalty. Louisville has repeat major violations and now this. Enough is enough.

I think the NCAA death penalty itself is dead and buried. The NCAA won't shut down a P5 because of the problems it would create with contractual broadcast/streaming rights for the ACC. Even if the NCAA threatened to do so, it would only hasten the ACC and the other P conferences withdrawing and forming their own entity (which is probably going to happen soon anyway).

Be afraid Western Kentucky, be very afraid.
 
05-19-2021 10:30 AM
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 06:18 AM)BearcatJerry Wrote:  The funny thing about "blackmail" is that, if you don't do stuff that is illegal or embarrassing, then you keep yourself pretty safe from being blackmailed. I know Louisville is going to position themselves as the "victim" and Gaudio as the "bad-guy"...and he's certainly not a "good guy" or noble person by any stretch of the definition...but if they didn't run a dirty program, they could avoid all this.

But then again, let's not forget that this is precisely the stuff the "average" Louisville fan really gets off on. They really do like the "black-hat" image of school that will go the "extra distance" to win, and if that offends ordinary sensibilities then so much the better.

There was a lot of this attitude in the UC fanbase under Huggins that has mostly faded away.
 
05-19-2021 01:50 PM
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skylinecat Offline
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 06:18 AM)BearcatJerry Wrote:  The funny thing about "blackmail" is that, if you don't do stuff that is illegal or embarrassing, then you keep yourself pretty safe from being blackmailed. I know Louisville is going to position themselves as the "victim" and Gaudio as the "bad-guy"...and he's certainly not a "good guy" or noble person by any stretch of the definition...but if they didn't run a dirty program, they could avoid all this.

But then again, let's not forget that this is precisely the stuff the "average" Louisville fan really gets off on. They really do like the "black-hat" image of school that will go the "extra distance" to win, and if that offends ordinary sensibilities then so much the better.

I live in Louisville and would generally disagree with you. Most of them are sick and tired of being in the news for the wrong reasons especially because UK fans like to act high and mighty like Xavier fans. Sure you have some subset of the fanbase that doesn't care, but I don't think its higher than any other fanbase would be. People with actual UofL degrees are not happy this kind of thing keeps happening.
 
05-19-2021 02:33 PM
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RE: Louisville swamp
Couldn't be happier for the ex-Eggzavier coach. Shoulda' picked us ACC. Water long over that dam....
 
05-19-2021 04:17 PM
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 08:50 AM)bearcatdp Wrote:  
(05-19-2021 07:06 AM)CliftonAve Wrote:  Paul Daugherty thinks what is happening at UC is worse than anything that has happened at UL.

Maybe he's working in the wrong city.

Paul Daugherty is a tool, and hasn't been relevant in the Cincinnati sports scene for a very long time. I thought he had retired from the enquirer until I saw his mug during one of the Peach Bowl press conferences.
 
05-19-2021 04:22 PM
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RE: Louisville swamp
PDik used to rile me up. Shoot, I started a thread about his weak ass when he took some shots at our football program a couple years back. No one knows who the douchebag is outside of Cincinnati. Just put him on ignore.
 
05-19-2021 04:34 PM
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RE: Louisville swamp
(05-19-2021 04:34 PM)UCGrad1992 Wrote:  PDik used to rile me up. Shoot, I started a thread about his weak ass when he took some shots at our football program a couple years back. No one knows who the douchebag is outside of Cincinnati. Just put him on ignore.

Not to derail this thread even further, but I just read Justin Williams' UC Mailbag from this week. He clearly does his homework and knows the program, but he also shows a breadth of knowledge and humor. He's funny, current, and appropriately self-deprecating. In short, he's everything that PDoc believes himself to be. If you haven't already, fork out the freaking pennies per day it takes to join The Athletic.
 
05-19-2021 04:44 PM
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