Kentucky basketball won’t be playing its biggest rival again this season.
Friday afternoon, Louisville’s No. 19-ranked program announced a self-imposed postseason ban that will keep it from competing in both the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament this March.
“I recognize that this is a significant penalty for our program,” president James R. Ramsey said, “and this will be a disappointment to our student athletes and to many in the University of Louisville family … While this was a difficult situation, it was made in the best interest of the University of Louisville.”
Louisville’s and the NCAA’s inquiries are ongoing, meaning the program could face more penalties before the matter is closed.
The ban stems from an alleged sex scandal, the details of which first appeared in a tell-all book by former stripper Katina Powell this past autumn.
In October, five former Louisville recruits told Outside the Lines that they attended on-campus parties featuring strippers hired by former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee. That information corroborated Powell’s allegations
After vehemently denying the claims, coach Rick Pitino softened a bit last month.
“I’m bothered by this a lot,” Pitino said in January. “When I go to bed at night, I’m bothered by a lot of all of this, because of my beliefs in how a program should be run. I’m not too sure that a lot of these things are the truth.”
Kentucky defeated Louisville, 75-73, in a December game that’s sure to boost the Wildcats’ tournament resumé.
Coach John Calipari is scheduled to speak at roughly 2:15 p.m. ET, and will likely address Louisville’s announcement. Stay tuned for updates.