Cardinals Basketball Scandal: What’s going to happen to Louisville now?

Cardinals Basketball Scandal: What’s going to happen to Louisville now?

The Cardinals Basketball Scandal has fans in Louisville calling it total Armageddon.

Let’s face it, the Cardinals basketball scandal isn’t new. In fact, I don’t think it was surprising for most people. College basketball programs routinely skirt the law when it comes to recruiting top talent. The fact that it took this long for coach Rick Pitino to fall from grace though? Now that’s something else.

A history of shady dealings

Even before this Cardinals basketball scandal blew up, the program had always been under scrutiny. Before Pitino took over, Louisville was rocked by another recruiting scandal. At that time, former coach Eddie Sutton’s head rolled. Thankfully, the program managed to catch up after the sanctions against it. Under Pitino’s guidance, Louisville bounced back and its teams stayed competitive. In his 16 years helming the program, Pitino 416-141 and won “the Dance” in 2012-13. While it was relatively successful, Louisville still found itself in the center of controversies.

Prior to last Tuesday’s announcement from the US Attorney’s Office, Louisville had found itself penalized for an unrelated offense. This involved parties organized by Andre McGee, the university’s director of basketball operations, that featured strippers. While this might be unrelated, it was undoubtedly grave enough for the NCAA to impose sanctions. More importantly, this specific scandal could cost the university the Championship it won in 2013. Other than this, there was also the extortion attempt on Pitino by a mistress in 2009. That eventually got resolved in his favor but likely at the cost of his family relations.

Pitino’s tenure ends

The latest Cardinals basketball scandal is quite special though. Unlike the previous two, there’s a lot more at stake on this one. We’re not just talking about sanctions here. There’s a chance that people might be going to jail or companies forced to cough up money for fines. The case filed by the FBI has already resulted in the arrest of four assistant coaches (though none of these work for UL). As a result of this, both Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich have been removed from the school.

And Louisville would have been crazy if it did keep Pitino in the program. Details of the investigation suggested that Pitino had been paid a whopping $2.25 million in 2015 by Adidas. This was for so-called “athletically-related income.”

What does the future hold for Louisville

It’s highly likely that Louisville would continue to compete in the NCAA. There’s even a possibility that they won’t lose the Championship they won in 2013. With that said, the program is going to have a hard time recovering from this. Other than the money they were getting, top recruits flocked to Louisville because of Pitino. With the money likely gone and Pitino out of the door, what else could the program offer? Interim head coach David Padgett? No offense to the dude but he’s yet to prove anything as a coach in the college game.

There’s no sugarcoating it, the Cardinals basketball scandal will set the program a couple of years back. Sure, the program can stay competitive. However, there’s no guarantee that it’s going to go deep in the NCAA Tournament. Just after news of the scandal broke out, two of the teams commits for this season backed out. Anfernee Simmons and Courtney Ramey both revoked their pledges to commit with the program. The two 5-star guards could have been a boon to the program this season. Thanks to the scandal though, we’ll be seeing them on another team’s roster.

What do you think of the Cardinals basketball scandal. Can Louisville ever recover from this? Will we see Rick Pitino in another program or will he go back to the NBA?


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