LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Five former UofL basketball players, Luke Hancock, Gorgui Dieng, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson and Michael Marra, have filed a lawsuit against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
“Today is about us pushing back and getting back what was wrongfully taken from these players,” their attorney John Morgan said on Wednesday.
The players are being represented by Morgan and Morgan, a nationwide law firm that says it’s ready for battle. The lawsuit fights to get the 2013 Championship banner back, as well as the reputation of players who attorneys say were portrayed in "false light."
The civil suit claims the NCAA implied that all players engaged in the lewd behavior with strippers by not excluding Hancock and others who say they had nothing to do with it.
“It's been five years and I can't tell you two days where I've gone without having someone come up to me and ask me if I had strippers or prostitutes in the dorm. I'm involved in the right things, I do the right things, I didn't do anything wrong,” Hancock said.
Morgan calling the NCAA a goliath in the sports world and “morally bankrupt,” claiming the college athletic association had no authority to strip players of their wins and their awards and calling NCAA rules phony. He also said student-athletes are more like “indentured servants” to the NCAA.
“The NCAA has set up this cesspool of rules to pretend like it's pristine, to pretend like it's 1950 all over again,” Morgan explained.
The suit asks the NCAA to declare these players did not engage in striptease dances, prostitution and tipping of strippers and fights to get back the banner, the game wins -- and Hancock's Most Outstanding Player award during the final four in 2013.
“They're going to do it. By God, they're going to do it, if we have to drag them by the head of their hair, all the way down from Indianapolis from the courthouse here, they're going to do it,” Morgan said.
The lawsuit also asks for compensatory damages, though an amount is not listed. Morgan said there is a contingency fee, which means the firm will only be paid if the plaintiffs win.
“We fight a lot of times when we just think it's right. I do believe we have him on a contingency fee contract, but if we don't get a penny, if all we get is this championship back for Louisville, and the players and the city and Luke's MVP back, that's going to be plenty pay for us,” Morgan explained.
The University of Louisville and former head basketball coach Rick Pitino are not named as parties in the suit.