Louisville will appeal NCAA ruling

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) –Louisville said Tuesday it will appeal the NCAA’s finding that the school’s men’s basketball program is a repeat rules violator.
The notice of appeal also said the facts in an NCAA report returned last month did not support a finding of a “major” violation in the basketball program. The notice was not more specific.
“After careful consideration and consultation, I have decided to notify the NCAA of our intent to appeal a limited portion of the recent action of the infractions committee,” University of Louisville President John Shumaker said in a statement.
On Sept. 23, the NCAA’s infractions committee gave the university a number of penalties for what it said were nine rules violations. The penalties include a ban on preseason and postseason men’s basketball competition for 1998-99, including the Conference USA tournament.
The women’s volleyball program also was placed on probation in a separate NCAA finding the university is not appealing.
For the basketball program, the school is asking for a hearing so it can make its case in person.
The most serious basketball violation appeared to center around arrangements made by assistant coach Scooter McCray in 1996 to keep player Nate Johnson’s father from being evicted from a Louisville hotel by using his personal credit card to guarantee payment. The university disputed the NCAA’s finding that McCray had tried to negotiate a discounted rate for the player’s father.
The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced its penalties last month for the nine violations involving rules governing extra benefits, recruiting, financial aid, institutional control and ethical conduct.
The allegations came to light early last year and the NCAA in April issued a formal letter of inquiry into the two programs.
The committee had placed Louisville on probation for two years in 1996 after an investigation into the men’s basketball program unearthed questions concerning former player Samaki Walker’s use of two cars during the summer and fall of 1995.
Because the new violation involving the basketball program occurred within five years of the starting date of the previous penalties, the committee applied its repeat-violator provisions to the case.