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UofL releases NCAA reply to allegations response

Monday's update comes more than three years after the FBI first announced its investigation into college basketball.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nearly three months after responding to allegations of improper conduct against their men's basketball program, the University of Louisville (UofL) released the reply it received from the NCAA on Dec. 7.

UofL sent a formal response to the NCAA in September after receiving the notice of allegations in May challenging "most of the allegations" made against the program.

What does the document say?

The 70-page document has been redacted to protect information about students, prospective students and other individuals. It details all of the allegations against the program and the evidence that the NCAA believes supports those allegations.

In its response to the allegations, UofL said Adidas was not acting as a representative of the university when it extended extra benefits to prospective players. The NCAA disagreed with the university and said the evidence supports the Level 1 violation. 

Another allegation involved former assistant coach Jordan Fair. According to the document, Fair was present in the Las Vegas hotel room where the offers were arranged. The university claimed that Fair was an innocent bystander, but the NCAA argued that Fair knew about the arrangements and did not report them, even though they were in violation of NCAA legislation.

According to the document, the enforcement staff held prehearing conferences with Rick Pitino, former associate coach Kenny Johnson, Jordan Fair and the university before releasing its response.

Read the full 70-page report:

Background

Monday's update comes more than three years after the FBI first announced its investigation into college basketball. The investigation uncovered corruption involving universities, shoe companies, agents and players. 

Among those schools named in the investigation was the University of Louisville. The investigation alleged Adidas paid basketball recruit Brian Bowen $100,000 to steer them towards the Cardinals. 

It was the second scandal for the school in two years, leading the university to fire both head coach Rick Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich.

The FBI investigation led to a federal trial in which three men were sentenced for their roles in the pay-for-play scandal. Former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code all spent time in prison.

RELATED: Louisville receives NCAA notice of allegations from Adidas scandal

While the criminal investigation played out in court, the NCAA also began its own investigation. On May 4, 2020, the NCAA gave UofL their notice of allegations. 

Other allegations include an improper recruiting offer and "extra benefits" to the family of an enrolled student-athlete provided by people connected to UofL through Adidas, as well as a former assistant and head coach during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

The NCAA also alleges the university did not adequately monitor recruitment and Pitino failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance. No current administrators, coaches, or players are involved in the allegations.

 According to a statement, the university's response challenged most of the allegations which date back to 2016. School leaders said over the past three years, they had taken extensive corrective measures in response to the federal indictment.  

What's next?

The University of Louisville can now request a hearing with either the Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) or the NCAA's Committee on Infractions.

Any decision by the IARP is final and cannot be appealed. If the university chooses to go to the Committee on Infractions, a report will be released eight to 12 weeks after the hearing. That report would include any penalties.

UofL could then appeal to the Infractions Appeal Committee and their decision would be the final word.

Follow Kent Spencer on Twitter for updates on this story and daily sports news.

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