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Louisville, Pitino subject of FBI investigation

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http://nypost.com/2017/09/26/fbi-sting-has-louisville-in-its-crosshairs/

"School 6?" This isn't some Mickey Mouse NCAA, "oh, Rick, you sly dog!" nonsense. Would wager some big time NCAA coaches are crapping themselves today.

Assistant coaches from four major colleges were arrested Tuesday as part of an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball, but those programs are not alone.

The FBI complaint includes payments totaling $100,000 to an unnamed recruit by an unnamed school. The facts in the complaint make it clear that the school is Louisville and the recruit, according to multiple reports, is five-star prospect Brian Bowen, who committed to play for Rick Pitino and the Cardinals in June.

ESPN sources confirmed that “School 6” in the complaint is Louisville, and the school later confirmed it with an official statement.

“Today, the University of Louisville received notice that it is included in a federal investigation involving criminal activity related to men’s basketball recruiting,” the statement said. “While we are just learning about this information, this is a serious concern that goes to the heart of our athletic department and the university. UofL is committed to ethical behavior and adherence to NCAA rules; any violations will not be tolerated. We will cooperate fully with any law enforcement or NCAA investigation into the matter.”

The crux of the investigation is this: College coaches worked with third-party representatives to pay players and influence where they committed to play basketball. Shoe companies and “advisers” — since prospective players can’t have agents — have long been known to influence where top players decide to attend college, but this investigation alleges damning details about the corruption in the sport.

The investigation revealed that the $100,000 was paid in four installments from “University-6” (Louisville) and funneled through “Company-1,” which is Adidas, to “Player-10.” Louisville has an endorsement deal with Adidas. FBI agent John Vourderis said in a sworn statement, “Shortly after the agreement with the family of Player-10 was reached in late May or early June, Player-10 publicly committed to University-6.”


Louisville is already on probation and appealing an NCAA ruling that would vacate its 2013 title.Getty Images
Bowen, who is the No. 19 player in the Class of 2017, according to the 247Sports composite rankings, committed to Louisville on June 3. That was a bit of a surprise. Michigan State was long considered the leader to land Bowen, until very late in the process. Bowen named Louisville his leader the day before he committed.

There is also a second incident involving what appears to be a Louisville coach being videotaped in a Las Vegas hotel room negotiating a payout for a high school player who will graduate in 2019, according to WDRB.com.

No coaches from Louisville were named, and no charges have been brought at this point. Assistant coaches at Arizona, Oklahoma State, Southern California and Auburn were arrested on federal corruption charges.

Louisville’s basketball program is on probation, and has dealt with a pair of embarrassing scandals. Head coach Pitino is suspended for the first five ACC conference games of Louisville’s 2017-18 season and wins were vacated because of a sex scandal that included basketball operations director Andre McGee hiring escorts to strip for and have sex with Cardinals players and prospective recruits. Louisville is appealing, but if the NCAA’s ruling is not overturned, the Cardinals’ 2013 championship will be among the wins the program has to vacate.

In 2009, Pitino admitted to having a consensual affair six years earlier and paying for an abortion after the woman claimed he had raped her and tried to extort $10 million from him.


 
 

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http://nypost.com/2017/09/26/the-darkest-day-in-ncaa-hoops-history-is-only-the-beginning/

 

This was a couple of years before Al McGuire’s laugh and his voice would finally be silenced by the leukemia, he was sitting in a New York saloon and talking about old times that weren’t necessarily good times.

“Referees, you can reason with them,” McGuire said. “It’s when the District Attorney comes knocking at your door that you start worrying about more than getting slapped with a technical foul.”

McGuire was speaking about the awful winter of 1951, his senior year at St. John’s, when the lid was blown off college basketball, when Madison Square Garden was exposed as a den of iniquity, the wise guys getting their hooks in the sport — and its players — and not letting go until it was Frank Hogan, the Manhattan D.A., coming with a different set of tendrils.

 
 
 
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“These were kids I’d known my whole life,” McGuire said. “And they’re on the front page of the papers like gangsters and presidents.”

College basketball nearly perished thanks to those point-shaving scandals, first in 1951, later in 1961, but always managed to come back from the terrible headlines and peripheral characters.

But the sport has never known a darker day than Tuesday, when the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office announced the arrest of four Division I basketball coaches and six other men on bribery and fraud charges.

McGuire thought Hogan was a tough nut to crack?

Compared to the Feds, he was handing out parking tickets.

“We have your playbook,” New York FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney said at a news conference. “Our investigation is ongoing, and we are conducting additional interviews as we speak.”

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Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. KimAP

Added Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim, ominously: “Our investigation is ongoing. And we are currently conducting interviews. If you yourself engaged in these activities, I’d encourage you to call us. I think it’s better than us calling you.”

There is no gentle way to assess what happened in our town today, less than 50 blocks from where the sport’s last crisis began. The 10 men arrested were, by all accounts, the layup line of this mess. More may follow. And when the FBI is done, it’s hard to fathom what the sport may look like.

What’s clear now, for sure, is that one of the game’s established blue bloods — the University of Louisville — is in the FBI’s crosshairs. Originally referred to in the FBI complaint as “School #6,” but easily identified by the report’s description, Louisville later issued a statement:

“Today, the University of Louisville received notice that it is included in a federal investigation involving criminal activity related to men’s basketball recruiting.”

That’s awful news for Louisville, and quite possibly a death knell for the career of Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino, who played his high school ball at St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay and later coached the Knicks before taking the University of Kentucky job in 1989 after UK had nearly been handed the death penalty by the NCAA.

Pitino already has survived two sordid scandals that almost nobody else would – an extortion revelation in 2009 stemming from an extra-marital affair, and then an alleged prostitution ring run by one of his former assistant coaches that landed the Cardinals on probation, will force them to vacate victories, and was going to cost Pitino the first five games of this year’s ACC season via suspension.

Now, it is impossible to see how Pitino ever makes it out of this week with his job, and the same goes for his boss, AD Tom Jurich.

 

 

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And that’s just one school. There are others, and the FBI hasn’t even started putting the screws to anyone yet. The NCAA has long been seen – quite properly – as a toothless sheriff, with no subpoena power and little to offer in the way of real ramifications. Cheating on the recruiting trail in college sports may be distasteful, but it isn’t illegal.

 

But bribery? Fraud?

Those are crimes. And the Feds have a better winning percentage than Geno Auriemma.

And basketball coaches – so many of whom were reportedly huddling with assistants Tuesday, trying to figure out if any tentacles could lead to them – are notorious deal-makers by trade. And that’s when it’s trying to lure a power forward to campus. If jail time is on the table instead?

It’ll look like the griddle at Waffle House with all the flipping.

“The madness of college basketball went well beyond the madness of March,” Kim said Tuesday, and those dozen words rocked the very spine of a sport that thought its worst scandals were things of the past. Think agaiNCAA supports FBI in weeding out 'deeply disturbing' condu...

 

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They're calling it the NCAA's darkest day?  I'll call it the brightest day.  Bring everything out into the open and expose all the scumbags.  Clean up this dirty sport, whose culture has been taking a steep downturn for years.  

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9 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:

They're calling it the NCAA's darkest day?  I'll call it the brightest day.  Bring everything out into the open and expose all the scumbags.  Clean up this dirty sport, whose culture has been taking a steep downturn for years.  

didn't your former coach work under Pitino? 

 

If these allegations are true Pitino is done and UL is done for a while.  everyone knows cheating goes on, how else to explain Carolina being the best program in CBB the last 20 years yet striking out so often on the top end talent this decade? the last real big time guy they got was Barnes and he committed in 2009.   who's next? I have my suspicions but we'll see.

and when do they go after football?

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6 hours ago, nyjunc said:

didn't your former coach work under Pitino? 

 

If these allegations are true Pitino is done and UL is done for a while.  everyone knows cheating goes on, how else to explain Carolina being the best program in CBB the last 20 years yet striking out so often on the top end talent this decade? the last real big time guy they got was Barnes and he committed in 2009.   who's next? I have my suspicions but we'll see.

and when do they go after football?

Pitino and his hand-picked AD both sent packing today, after the AD at first refused to fire Pitino.Might have a future in the NBA if he can avoid indictment. 

Problem with football is very few 17/18 year olds are going to be anywhere near impactful on Day 1 as in basketball. And you need way more of them. Not saying it doesn't happen, but a college b-ball program locking up 4/5 superior talents is going to be better way quicker. 

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On 9/27/2017 at 12:32 AM, Jetsfan80 said:

They're calling it the NCAA's darkest day?  I'll call it the brightest day.  Bring everything out into the open and expose all the scumbags.  Clean up this dirty sport, whose culture has been taking a steep downturn for years.  

If they clean house , there will be nobody left to coach .

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34 minutes ago, ECURB said:

Juat pay the kids... That solves all of this.

If they do that it will be the death of most college sports besides football and basketball. 

 

this is  nice step to cleaning up recruiting but you can't tell me UK and duke don't engage in such activity.  they are probably just smarter about it. There's a reason Carolina hasn't been getting the top recruits this decade.  It's been a source of frustration for Carolina fans but now we see why.

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I used to be a huge fan of Pitino when he coached the Knicks.  Now he sounds like he'd be a fine replacement for Belichick when he retires.

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6 hours ago, nyjunc said:

this is  nice step to cleaning up recruiting but you can't tell me UK and duke don't engage in such activity.  they are probably just smarter about it. There's a reason Carolina hasn't been getting the top recruits this decade.  It's been a source of frustration for Carolina fans but now we see why.


Poor Carolina.  Always the victims. 

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22 hours ago, Jetsfan80 said:


Poor Carolina.  Always the victims. 

so you don't find it odd that Roy went from recruiting top classes every year last decade to getting spurned by the top talent this decade? luckily he's the best coach in the Country and they can overcome but for once put your jealousy of Carolina aside and open your eyes.

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