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[Newsa] Louisville Men's Basketball Team Will Skip Postseason as a Scandal Swirls

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Louisville Coach Rick Pitino this week. A woman said she had been hired by a former basketball employee to provide sex workers for some recruits and their fathers. Pitino said he had been unaware of the alleged violations. By MARC TRACY February 5, 2016 Louisville is voluntarily withholding its men’s basketball team from this season’s Atlantic Coast Conference and N.C.A.A. tournaments, as the N.C.A.A. investigates a scandal in which a former basketball employee is accused of having purchased strippers and prostitutes for some recruits and their fathers from 2010 to 2014. James R. Ramsey, the university president, announced the decision, which he said he made in consultation with Athletic Director Tom Jurich, at a news conference Friday afternoon as Coach Rick Pitino , a two-time national championship winner, looked on. After hearing from N.C.A.A. staff, Ramsey said, he “determined it was reasonable to conclude that violations had occurred in the men’s basketball program in the past.” Pitino reiterated previous statements that he had been unaware of the alleged violations. The accusations were first made in a book published late last year by a woman who said that Andre McGee, Louisville’s former director of basketball operations, hired her to provide strippers and prostitutes at 22 parties at the university’s residential hall for basketball players. Colleges frequently self-impose postseason bans if it becomes clear the N.C.A.A. is likely to do so in the future. Last year, Syracuse announced that it would withhold its men’s basketball team from the postseason about a month before the N.C.A.A. Committee on Infractions found violations related to players’ academics. Critics say that such bans deal the harshest punishment to current players — many of whom might not have borne responsibility for the alleged violations or even been on the team when they are said to have happened — and not to administrators and coaches. Louisville, ranked 19th, was coming off an upset victory over No. 2 North Carolina when the announcement was made. The Cardinals won the 2013 national championship.