Brandon Williams goes before NCAA in U of L sanctions case
CINCINNATI — Former Louisville graduate assistant Brandon Williams argued his case before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions in a hearing Thursday before leaving without stopping to answer questions from reporters.
Williams and his attorney, Peter R. Ginsberg, stayed for the duration of the 11-hour hearing and then exited wordlessly down an escalator from the third floor of the downtown Westin. The hearing was Williams' final chance to present his side of the story to the NCAA before the committee's judgment, which U of L athletic director Tom Jurich said is expected in six to eight weeks.
Williams was charged with failure to cooperate with an NCAA investigation into the claims in Katina Powell's book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," that former U of L director of basketball operations Andre McGee paid for and provided game tickets to women in exchange for them having sex with and dancing for players and recruits.
The NCAA's notice of allegations, released in October, claimed Williams, who worked at U of L for nearly two years before leaving last spring at the end of his graduate program, "violated the principles of ethical conduct" in refusing to produce information relevant to the investigation. Ginsberg called the organization's repeated requests for information from Williams a "fishing expedition" in a March response to the NCAA.
Williams will have the right to appeal any outcome of the investigation. The NCAA could serve Williams with a show-cause order, which would make any imposed penalties stick with him for a specified period of time and follow him should he go to work for another NCAA institution.
The NCAA charged U of L with four Level I violations, the most severe charge in the organization's penalty structure. U of L will also have the right to appeal the NCAA's final decision.
Williams did not offer any comment during breaks in the proceedings Thursday, responding to questions with only nonverbal shrugs. His silence continued when the hearing adjourned at about 7:30 p.m. Dressed in slacks and a black-and-white polo shirt with a Nike jacket, he hurried out of the room with his head down.
Ginsberg said in their response that Williams did not hand over a phone the NCAA requested because it was in his mother's name and she did not allow the records to be released. Williams did, however, give the NCAA and U of L his work phone as well as bank records from three different accounts.
Williams, now a high school basketball coach in Miami, also participated in two interviews with NCAA investigators, according to the response.
Reporter Danielle Lerner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 502-582-4042.