When the Louisville Cardinals were caught providing players and recruits ‘special favors’, they decided to fire the assistant coach in charge of entertainment and imposed sanctions on their own program. Of course, head coach Rick Pitino stands untouched from the scandal despite, at minimum, a loss of institutional control at Louisville.
The school imposed a tepid self-imposed postseason ban for the 2015-16 season and announced in April that it would cut one scholarship in the 2017 class and another one in the 2018 class, in addition to the recruiting travel ban and a reduction in the number of official visits they can host.
Of course, expect nothing to happen to Louisville – the most valuable college basketball program according to Forbes – worth $38.3 million. That is enough to scare off anybody – even the NCAA. Money talks and Rickey walks.
One of the ‘self-imposed sanctions’ is restricting coaches travel to see prospects, especially at AAU tournaments. Of course, forget about the ‘spirit’ of the sanctions. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, it’s nearly business as usual for Slick Rick and his cronies who play to the edges.
Quade Green, one of the top point guards in the 2017 class, said he talks to Louisville head coach Rick Pitino “all day – on the phone, FaceTime, everything,” and he keeps in regular touch with his primary U of L recruiter, Kenny Johnson.
Matt Coleman, another top point guard, said the coaches told him they were watching his games on Nike’s online live-stream. They send him tips and critiques of his play, too.
“They still say, ‘Matt, we’re there in spirit,'” Coleman said. “I understand the thing they went through and that they can’t come out, but when I get there it’ll be a clean slate.”
It also helps U of L that its coaches have already seen their 2017 recruiting targets in person at other times, and they’ll get the chance to watch them again in July, when recruiting picks up again.
So much for self-imposed sanctions.
“I did research and everything with my dad, and I know it won’t affect me,” prospect combo guard Zach Dawson said, “so they’re still the top choice.”
If appears that their biggest self-imposed sanction may be at most a reduction in the number of official visits they can host.
They put on one hell of a party.