Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the University of Louisville announcing today?
The University of Louisville has received an amended Notice of Allegations (NOA) from the NCAA regarding the 2016-17 and 2017-2018 men's basketball program. The document has been amended to include allegations of three Level II violations from the 2018-19 season through the 2020-21 season.
2. What is a Notice of Allegations?
An NOA is the official notification that the NCAA has concluded its investigation into a university and includes the specific allegations of violations of NCAA rules.
3. When did UofL receive the NOA?
UofL received the amended NOA late Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. The original NOA was received May 4, 2020.
4. What are the allegations in this NOA?
The amended NOA includes allegations of three new Level II violations under Coach Chris Mack:
- The CCU alleges that from the 2018-19 season through the 2020-21 season, members of the institution’s men’s basketball staff violated NCAA Bylaws by allowing graduate assistants, managers and noncoaching staff members with sport-specific responsibilities to participate in impermissible on-court activities with current men’s basketball student athletes.
- The CCU alleges that from June of 2018 through the 2020-21 season, members of the institution’s men’s basketball staff violated NCAA Bylaws by producing and showing, playing, or providing personalized recruiting videos and recruiting aids to prospective men’s basketball student-athletes containing the names, pictures and/or likenesses of the prospective men’s basketball student-athletes. In addition, members of the institution’s men’s basketball staff created personalized pamphlets and itineraries for prospective men’sbasketball student-athletes to be used on both official and unofficial visits.
- The CCU alleges that from June of 2018 through the 2020-21 season, Chris Mack (Mack),the current head men's basketball coach, is presumed responsible for the violations detailed in Allegation Nos. 5 and 6 and did not rebut the presumption of responsibility. Specifically,,Mack did not demonstrate that he promoted an atmosphere for compliance due to his personal involvement in the violations and/or the impermissible conduct being done at his direction.
Previous allegations issued against the 2016-17 and 2017-2018 Louisville men's basketball program include:
- A Level I allegation that an improper recruiting offer, and subsequent extra benefits to the family of an enrolled student athlete; and a recruiting inducement to a prospective student-athlete's non-scholastic coach/trainer, were provided by certain individuals, purportedly identified and defined by the NCAA as "representatives of the university's athletics interests", none of whom had traditional connections to the University beyond their affiliation with Adidas or professional athlete management entities, as well as by a former assistant coach and a former associate head coach;
- A Level II allegation of recruiting violations by two former men's basketball coaching staff members in providing impermissible transportation and having impermissible contact in the context of recruitment-related activities;
- A Level II allegation that the institution failed to adequately monitor the recruitment of an incoming, high-profile student-athlete;
- A Level II allegation that the former head men's basketball coach did not satisfy his head coach responsibility when he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance;
5. What do the various levels of violation mean?
The NCAA categorizes violations by the seriousness of the offense.
- A Level I violation is defined as a "severe breach of conduct" that seriously undermines or threatens the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model, as set forth in the constitution and bylaws, including any violation that provides or is intended to provide a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage, or a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit.
- A Level II violation is defined as a "significant breach of conduct" that provides or is intended to provide more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive recruiting, competitive or other advantage; include more than a minimal but less than a substantial or extensive impermissible benefit; or involve conduct that may compromise the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model as set forth in the constitution and bylaws.
6. How will the university respond to the allegations?
The University of Louisville received the amended NOA on Sept. 30. Once thoroughly reviewed, we will respond in the best interest of the University of Louisville and the Louisville Cardinals Men’s Basketball program.
7. Then what? What is the process?
8. When does the university expect resolution on these issues?
The University does not determine the dates or the timeline of the IARP process. Realistically, we are preparing for this process to continue through Spring of 2022.
9. What penalties will the university face if these allegations are confirmed?
The NCAA sets penalties based on a variety of factors, including the severity of the findings as well as mitigating factors. The infractions process includes guidelines for a range of penalties that are outlined in NCAA Bylaw Figure 19-1.
10. Will the university fight the allegations?
The university will not hesitate to push back where the evidence does not support the NCAA's allegations or interpretations of charges. However, the university will take responsibility for any allegations proven true, as accountability is one of our Cardinal Principles.
11. Who makes the decision on whether the university will fight the allegations?
UofL President Neeli Bendapudi, with input from the Board of Trustees, Director of Athletics Vince Tyra and the legal and leadership teams, will determine the university's course of action.
12. Do these allegations involve any of our current MBB players or staff?
The previous NOA involved only violations alleged to have occurred during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The amended NOA involves three Level II allegations against Head Coach Chris Mack and/or the coaching staff in 2020. None of the current student-athletes are involved with any of the allegations.
13. Does the university plan to take any additional action against Chris Mack?
The University does not intend to make any decisions prior to final resolution of the matter.
14. Will these allegations lead to changes in the basketball program? In the Athletics Department?
Immediately upon his appointment as Director of Athletics in November 2017, Vince Tyra began implementing changes in departmental policies and procedures. A list of many of those changes is available here.
15. The men's basketball program was recently penalized for recruiting and improper benefit violations. Does that have any impact on these allegations?
This investigation is unrelated to a prior MBB infractions case finalized in 2017. As a result of the previous violations, the university was on probation through June 2021. It is unclear at this time what effect this prior case will have on any future penalties that may potentially result from these current allegations
16. What are the Cardinal Principles?
Established by President Bendapudi in 2018, the Cardinal Principles are a set of values that guide the actions of UofL administrators, faculty, staff, students and other members of the UofL family.
17. What is the university's message to the UofL community?
At the University of Louisville, following our Cardinal Principles, we are committed to doing things the right way. We will support our student athletes, coaches and staff, who are dedicated to performing at the highest levels while meeting the highest ethical standards. We have the right people in place to ensure that we will continue to provide a program of which Cardinal Nation can be proud.