Louisville Receiving Notice of NCAA Violations Makes Iona Look Even Crazier for Hiring Rick Pitino
By Sam Dunn
We knew it was coming, and the day is here. The NCAA formally submitted a Notice of Allegations to the University of Louisville with regards to improprieties committed within their men's basketball program, and the school is understood to have received the notice.
As first reported by Danielle Lerner of The Athletic, the allegations are a product of the FBI's widespread investigation into college basketball corruption. The harshest item is a Level I violation related to improper payments made during recruiting efforts, plus three Level II violations highlighted by a charge of "failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance" against former coach Rick Pitino.
It's bad enough for Louisville, but another big loser here is Iona College, which hired Pitino as its head basketball coach barely six weeks ago.
Look, we all knew Pitino had a history of presiding over sullied programs. His claims that he knew nothing about Louisville basketball's ridiculous stripper/prostitution scandal simply weren't believable, and he was fired for cause in 2017 in the early fallout of the FBI investigation, specifically alleged payments made to the family of former top recruit Brian Bowen.
That Iona thought it was even a remotely acceptable decision to bring Pitino out of the shadows of basketball shame to be their next head coach is a farce.
Monday's news only drives this home even further.
Oh, that's Iona's explanation? That they already knew all the rough, problematic details of Pitino's backlog, and they just don't care? Somehow, this college -- which purports to uphold Catholic values -- comes off looking effectively as bad as Pitino and Louisville.
That's an absolute joke. The saddest fact of all? That this bullet would have been so, so easy for the Gaels to dodge.