NCAA Review Finds Rick Pitino “Promoted Atmosphere of Compliance,” Committed No Violation Following Investigation into 2017 FBI Probe

Syndication: The Courier-Journal
Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The University of Louisville is catching a break from the NCAA, after a nearly five year investigation, that began in 2017 when the FBI launched a probe into allegations of corruption and bribery in college sports. Early Thursday morning, a ruling on the probe was released by the NCAA’s Independent Accountability Review Process (IARP).

Former coaches Rick Pitino, who is now at Iona and Chris Mack avoided penalties and ex-Louisville assistants Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair will each serve a two-year show-cause penalty. The penalty means that both men are prohibited from recruiting for their new respective schools. Johnson is now stationed in Rhode Island, while Fair works at the Oldsmar Christian School located in Florida.

Pitino, who was initially suspected of being a coach mentioned in certain FBI documents, was never named, not charged or prosecuted nor found guilty of any violations by the IARP.

In it’s release, IARP says that “the hearing panel determined no violation by former head coach No. 1 [Pitino] occurred given that he demonstrated he promoted an atmosphere of compliance.”

Meanwhile, Louisville men’s basketball team was issued a $5,000 fine on top of having a few recruiting days stripped from the team. The biggest punishment against the team is the imposition of a two-year probationary period. The overall light punishments, according to officials, are due to the IARP finding only one Level I violation and a few minor Level III violations.

Employees of Louisville’s men’s basketball team were initially accused of negotiating a deal worth $100,000 with its apparel partner, Adidas, to help with the recruitment of former five-star prospect Brian Bowen Jr..

Sports Illustrated has more HERE.