By Cole Emery–

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi informed the campus community in an email on May 4 that U of L has received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA regarding the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 men’s basketball program. The notice came after a two-year long investigation by the NCAA enforcement staff.

Louisville was given four allegations against them, all regarding improper recruitment. They were given one Level I allegation and three Level II violations, two of the highest possible allegations a university can receive.

In her email, Bendapudi outlined the allegations as follows:

  • “A Level I allegation that an improper recruiting offer, and subsequent extra benefits to the family of an enrolled student athlete; and a recruiting inducement to a prospective student-athlete’s non-scholastic coach/trainer, were provided by certain individuals, purportedly identified and defined by the NCAA as “representatives of the university’s athletics interests,” none of whom had traditional connections to the University beyond their affiliation with Adidas or professional athlete management entities, as well as by a former assistant coach and a former associate head coach;
  • A Level II allegation of recruiting violations by the same two former men’s basketball coaching staff members in providing impermissible transportation and having impermissible contact in the context of recruitment-related activities; 
  • A Level II allegation that the institution failed to adequately monitor the recruitment of an incoming, high-profile student-athlete;
  • A Level II allegation that the former head men’s basketball coach did not satisfy his head coach responsibility when he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.”

Following Bendapudi’s email, she and Vince Tyra, U of L’s athletic director, held a press teleconference.

“Throughout the lengthy investigation and enforcement process, because we have nothing to hide, the university worked with the NCAA enforcement staff and shared discovery. However, we aggressively pushed back throughout the process to do all we could possibly do to limit the number and seriousness of the allegations received today,” Tyra said.

Since these are only allegations, U of L is preparing a full and comprehensive response and plans to submit the response within a 90-day period. In her email, Bendapudi said the university will take responsibility for the allegations supported by facts and evidence. 

“We will not hesitate — repeat, not hesitate — to push back on those allegations that we simply don’t believe are supported by facts, NCAA law or by precedent, “Bendapudi said during the conference. “What we have done together as a Cardinal family, to be a model of compliance, a model of ethical conduct. I truly believe that we have gone above and beyond any other institution.”

Since taking office in 2018, Bendapudi said the university has made more than a dozen changes, including a change in leadership with a new university president, new athletic director, new coach and new assistant coaches; new chains of reporting; a revision of the head coach contract to reflect NCAA compliance expectations; and the athletic department has enhanced its rules education and compliance monitoring for all staff and began an ethical leadership series required for all athletics staff.

“The university remains committed to a complete and transparent reform,” Bendapudi said in her email. “None of the men’s basketball staff members involved in the allegations are still representing the university and neither of the involved men’s basketball prospects referenced in the allegations ever represented U of L in athletic competition.” 

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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