Northern Colorado Addresses Violations While Louisville Tries to Shed Charges

Photo courtesy Tribue of Greeley

The Tribune of Greeley has published the details of violations that occurred within the University of Northern Colorado Bears basketball program that resulted in the firing of head coach B.J. Hill and his staff last April.

On October 12th, 2016, LetsGoDU published an article on their prompt action. UNC’s actions were in sharp contrast to basketball blue blood Louisville. 

According to The Tribune,  Hill completed coursework for players, had assistants complete coursework for student-athletes and provided $7,000 in impermissible benefits to players, according to the results of an eight-month NCAA investigation into the UNC men’s basketball program. There were eight Level 1 violations which are deemed by the NCAA as very serious and intended to provide advantages in recruiting and showed “reckless indifference” to the NCAA constitution and bylaws.

Who would have guessed that a head basketball coach knew algebra?

While the violations are disappointing, the UNC administration acted promptly by sending Hill packing immediately after they learned of the violations. UNC President Kay Norton said, “It is extremely unfortunate that the actions of our former coaches initially went undetected; however, the allegations do not charge that we lacked institutional control or failed to monitor our men’s basketball program.”

The leadership shown by Norton and the UNC administration is commendable. No additional sanctions have been issued by the NCAA at this time against the Bears.

On the other hand, there are the Louisville Cardinals – the richest franchise in college basketball. The university’s response to the NCAA has been to remove culpability from their head coach Rick Pitino. Louisville argues that Rick Pitino deserves no further punishment after firing an assistant for hiring hookers and entertaining recruits and their guardians with live on-campus entertainment from 2010-2014.

The NCAA has leveled  40 violations against Louisville, 4 of those being Level 1. The University accepts 37 of the charges in their response to the NCAA but, of course, Rick Pitino is free of all responsibility.

The school did place itself on a postseason ban last season and implemented recruiting and scholarship restrictions over multiple years. But it was done to prevent harsher future punishments by the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, which will ultimately decide how severely it will discipline the program.

“Pitino did everything he reasonably could have done and more to monitor Andre McGee (former fired assistant) and the dorm, yet McGee was able to keep his illicit activities concealed not only from Pitino, but also from the RA, who lived in the dorm and was trained and paid to monitor the dorm, the security guards, and numerous residents who lived in the dorm,” Louisville argues in their response to the NCAA charges.

The NCAA has 90 days to respond to Louisville’s response, which was sent on Jan. 17. Louisville will hear back from the NCAA on its acceptance or denial of the school’s rebuttals by April 17.

What a difference a school makes.