Yahoo Sports columnist Pat Forde didn’t mince words.
If the allegations laid out in an FBI indictment made public Tuesday turn out to be true, Forde argues that Louisville deserves to have its basketball program ended. Documents from the indictment suggest that a school fitting the description of Louisville arranged for at least one recruit to receive $100,000 in exchange for his commitment to the school.
Louisville was ordered by the NCAA to vacate its 2013 national title, among other consequences, for providing strippers and escorts to recruits when they visited the school. Now, the FBI alleges that coaches arranged for players to be paid for their commitments on multiple occasions.
In one of those cases, which the FBI reportedly videotaped, a Louisville assistant was involved in a discussion to pay a Class of 2019 recruit to commit to the school. The coach noted that the involved school “was already on probation with the NCAA” and that “they would have to be particularly careful with how they passed money” to the player.
Forde argues that, in addition to Hall of Fame Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino being fired and the basketball program being shut down, Louisville athletics director Tom Jurich should be removed as well.
“Playing the rogue assistant card isn’t going to fly a second time, like it did with [former assistant coach] Andre McGee and the strippers,” Forde writes. “That worked once – and many people were surprised it worked then. Now? The accountability goes to the top.”
As Forde points out, Louisville was not named explicitly named in the FBI documents. It also is not the only school implicated in the findings. Arizona, Auburn, USC and Oklahoma State all had assistant coaches arrested Tuesday. Miami also appears to be involved.
But it could be Louisville that suffers the most severe punishment.
“The damage to it will be immense and long-lasting,” Forde writes. “The NCAA will have a hard fight to make anyone believe in its bread-winner sport again. Which is why the first order of business needs to be blasting Louisville basketball into non-existence.”