Rick Pitino could face NCAA suspension

Gentry Estes

While men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino was not accused by the NCAA of directly providing improper benefits to recruits or players, he still “is potentially subject to a show-cause order,” according to the notice of allegations received by the University of Louisville.

NCAA guidelines could call for a suspension of 30-50 percent of a coach’s season for Level I violations without aggravating or mitigating factors, which was the case for Pitino’s allegation.

One of the four allegations issued to U of L by the NCAA was against Pitino for failure to monitor the actions of former assistant coach Andre McGee.

As a result of that allegation, Pitino could face a show-cause order – and thus possibly a suspension – per NCAA Bylaws and, which allow the NCAA to order punishment “including but not limited to restriction of some or all athletically related duties” for a head coach if it is deemed that “an institution has not taken appropriate disciplinary or corrective action regarding an individual found in violation of the NCAA (rules).”

The NCAA calls on the institution to discipline personnel on the front end, but the NCAA also gives the committee on infractions (which makes the final determination on a case) the ability to add a punishment if it deems the institution didn’t do enough.

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“The (NCAA) may issue an order that the institution suspend the coach for a number of contests … unless the institution appears before the panel to show cause why the suspension should not be applied,” reads the NCAA bylaws.

Athletics director Tom Jurich said Thursday that U of L will dispute the allegation against Pitino, which was a strong hint that it will choose not to suspend Pitino prior to the university’s case going before the committee on infractions in the months ahead.

Pitino also disputed the allegation Thursday, saying, "I'm not guilty of failing to monitor my staff. I'm guilty of trusting someone."

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