Men’s basketball avoids postseason ban in NCAA IARP ruling Thursday, Nov 3 2022 

By Tate Luckey 

After five years, five coaches, four university presidents, three athletic directors, and lots of questions, the Louisville men’s basketball program received the details of its punishment from the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP). The IARP is responsible for reviewing select complex infraction cases within Division I. Their Nov. 3 decision detailed what penalties the University would face for its alleged involvement with Adidas and improper recruiting practices.

The Penalties

In May of 2020, the NCAA accused U of L of committing a Level I violation dating back to 2017, in which Adidas recruited Brian Bowen in part by paying his family $100,000 if he attended U of L , and then signed with Adidas after going pro. There are additional Level II violations, that can be found here.

The IARP panel could not find sufficient proof Adidas was acting in U of L’s interests, or that the University played any role in Adidas’s actions.

According to the 105-page decision, the NCAA argued that former head coach Rick Pitino was “too strict on compliance for it to be effective.” The IARP rejected the argument, stating Pitino had fostered an adequate atmosphere of compliance.

Major penalties include a $5,000 fine, a two-week ban on unofficial visits during the 2022-2023 academic year, a seven-day reduction in recruiting days for the 2022-2023 academic year, and a two-year probationary period, in which Louisville is to develop a “comprehensive educational program on NCAA legislation designed to instruct…with recruiting responsibility.” Former head coach Chris Mack also avoids any punishment.

The full list can be found here. IARP decisions cannot be appealed.

“A step in the right direction”

U of L Athletic Director Josh Heird emphasized in a press conference Thursday to “not forget [the impact] the allegations have had on the fanbase.” He and Interim President Lori Gonzalez are focused on moving past this era of athletics, instead focusing on rebuilding the enthusiasm of the fanbase. Both consider this outcome a check off of the many items on their to-do list.

“If you’re a U of L fan and don’t feel better after today, then I’m not sure you’re a fan,” Heird said.

“You can’t forget the last five years- the millions of dollars that have been spent, the millions of dollars the program has lost, and opportunities that have been lost for our athletes to compete. Today marks the beginning of a new chapter.”

Students, alumni, and fans alike can now breathe a collective sigh of relief that this era of Louisville Basketball can finally be pushed behind them.

So…will that 2013 banner be raised?

When the IARP’s penalties were revealed Thursday morning, reactions from fans were swift. Former player and current Cleveland Cavalier Donovan Mitchell sent “BANNER UP” on his social media, and Barstool Cards tweeted a simple “Hang it.

But with this case finally resolved, does that mean anything for this important piece of University of Louisville sports history?

For context, the 2013 title was vacated due to a separate 2017 investigation that uncovered a stripper and sex-related scandal involving former players, former director of basketball operations Andre McGee, and Pitino. The now Iona Gaels head coach stated in a Zoom call Thursday that he believes in the character of the NCAA, and that the vacated 2013 National Championship banner will be hung again.

“You cannot take championships away. We won the 2013 championship. If the IARP was involved in looking at that case, that banner would still be hanging today,” he said.

“I’m not going to make any promises, but if there’s an opportunity to do something along those lines, we’re going to do it,” Heird said. “I’d have to have more conversations with the NCAA- it’s not as simple as rolling down to the arena and raising it.”

This is a breaking story, and as such will be updated.

File Photos // GoCards.com //

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How Much Pressure is on Kenny Payne This Season? Sunday, Oct 23 2022 

By: Jason Krell

Earlier this year, University of Louisville athletic director, Josh Heird named Kenny Payne to the head coaching role of the men’s basketball team. With the firing of former head coach Chris Mack, Heird faced a lot of pressure in getting this decision right in hopes of bringing Louisville back to the national powerhouse it used to be.

A former player under coach Denny Crum, Payne knows what it takes to be successful having won a national title as both a player and as an assistant at the University of Kentucky. Payne also spent four years in the NBA as both a coach and player and was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft.

Louisville legend, Denny Crum welcomes Kenny Payne to Louisville in March of 2022.

Historically, Louisville basketball is a winning program. With dominance in the 1980s and steady success through the 2000s and 2010s, a lot is at stake for Payne to make Louisville basketball relevant again. Former coaches like Denny Crum and Rick Pitino have set the standard where anything less than an ACC championship and final-four run would be considered a lost season. Or would it?

This will be Kenny Payne’s first gig as a head coach, at any level so it is expected for things to not be perfect and smooth sailing. However, valuable assets such as Nolan Smith and Danny Manning showcase to fans that Louisville basketball has one of the most experienced coaching staff in the country.

Assistant coach Kenny Payne and PJ Washington getting ready for a game in the NCAA tournament.

In addition to a distinguished coaching staff, players such as Sydney Curry and El Ellis will be looking to make their case for ACC player of the year and make a run in the NCAA tournament. With so much young talent on the roster, you can’t help but think they have nothing to lose, and a team that has nothing to lose come March can be a dangerous thing.

With the rich history that comes with Louisville basketball, there is going to be pressure to succeed right away as a new head coach. For as long as Payne knows the expectation from fans and is realistic with the roster he has, Louisville will be put back on the map as the powerhouse in the state of Kentucky.
File Photos // Darrell Bird (247Sports), Pat McDonogh (Courier Journal), GoCards.com //

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Cards Can’t Close at BC, 34-33 Wednesday, Oct 5 2022 

By Spencer Laws

One Point Short

This past Saturday, October 1st, Louisville lost what many would consider another easy ACC win. The Cards came into the game 14-point favorites, yet choked one away 34-33.

The loss was a combined effort by the whole team. The defense was lit up in the passing game, giving up 304 yards and three touchdowns in the air. Boston College receiver Zay Flowers recorded five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, receiving ACC Receiver of the Week awards for his performance. 

Cunningham added to his already impressive rushing touchdowns total by adding three more against BC. His passing game still somewhat struggled, as he put up 19-28 completions with only 186 yards and a touchdown. Cunningham took a big hit midway through the 4th quarter, so junior Brock Domann came to close out the game. He is considered day-to-day.

A special teams miscue came back to bite the Cards as kicker James Turner had an extra point blocked in the second quarter. That kick would be the difference maker in overtime.

What Comes Next

With this result, it feels like the point of no return for Satterfield and the company. Many are up conflicted in the fan community about his coaching staff and play- some are already calling for his firing. One Twitter account even replies to U of L related posts “#BringBrohmHome

However, what good would it do to fire Satterfield mid-way through this season? With the outstanding recruiting class of ‘23 set to hit campus in the spring, how many of those recruits would de-commit with Satterfield’s exit? 

When Heird took the Job last December he came out and stated that he as AD wouldn’t settle for mediocrityCard Nation has their hands up right now as their football team continues to lose games week in and week out. Louisville now has 4 consecutive losses versus Power 5 teams, leaving us among the bottom 5

Meanwhile, you would assume to see some changes from Satterfield in the coming weeks as he attempts to save his job. In an October 4th press conference Satterfield stated that he’s “Got to spend more time helping all the facets of the game, particularly defensively and on special teams.” As for why? “Losing games.”

The Cards are back in action this Saturday, October 8th traveling to Virginia to face off with UVA at noon, on the ACC network.

Photo Courtesy // Taris Smith, Louisville Athletics – GoCards.com //

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