Louisville to vacate 2013 NCAA championship, other victories

Sporting News
Katina Powell's book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules," triggered a scandal involving the Louisville basketball team.

Woman at center of Louisville sex scandal charged with cashing forged checks

Katina Powell's book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules," triggered a scandal involving the Louisville basketball team.

Louisville's championship banner will come down.

The Cardinals will have to vacate 123 wins between the 2011-12 and 2014-15 seasons, including the 2013 title and the 2012 Final Four appearance, the NCAA announced Tuesday.

Louisville was also ordered to return money received through conference revenue sharing for its appearances in the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 NCAA Tournament.

It marks the first time in modern Division I men's basketball history that a championship has been vacated.

The hefty punishments stem from the school's escort case, where a former sex worker revealed she and other women were used to entice prospects to play for Louisville. Further investigations revealed several student-athletes played when they were ineligible to do so.

Louisville interim president Greg Postel penned an open letter after the sanctions were handed down, saying the NCAA is "simply wrong."

"We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case – based on NCAA precedent – that supported our argument," he wrote.

"From day one, the university has admitted that the actions of the former operations director and any others involved under previous leadership were offensive and inexcusable. That is why we apologized immediately, cooperated fully with the NCAA, self-imposed penalties that were appropriate to the offenses and made significant changes to ensure incidents like this never happen again. Under the NCAA’s own rules, this cooperation should have been a factor in the severity of the punishment. Instead, it was ignored."

MORE: Rick Pitino files lawsuit against University of Louisville Athletic Association

Louisville tried to rectify the situation by self-imposing a postseason ban for the 2016 ACC and NCAA tournaments for the recruiting violations, and added more recruiting sanctions once allegations that assistant Andre McGee used escorts to entice recruits were confirmed.

Rick Pitino, the coach at the time, denied any knowledge of the situation, but was fired for recruiting violations in October.

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