The Cardinals were punished last June for their role in a highly-publicized sex scandal, centered around allegations that a former Louisville staffer arranged for strippers to entertain players and recruits during a four-year period from 2010 to 2014.
"I can not say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong", Louisville interim President Dr. Greg Postel said in a statement.
It's unclear whether the NCAA has ruled to remove Pitino's tattoo as part of the decision, but something tells me he might be springing for a tattoo removal kit in the near future.
"We believe the NCAA is simply wrong to have made this decision", Postel said.
"Louisville must vacate men's basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible during the 2011-12 through 2014-15 academic years according to a decision issued by the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee".More news: S.Korea military drills to begin after Winter Olympics
Besides taking down the red-and-white banner hanging beside the American flag and two other title flags in the Cardinals' downtown arena, Louisville must erase wins before and after that championship along with other records. That measure included a show-cause penalty for Pitino, whom the NCAA criticized for failing to monitor McGee and ignoring multiple red flags; - Four years' probation, along with the vacation of those wins and appearances in the 2012 and 2013 Final Fours; - Show-cause penalties for McGee, who is no longer coaching; - Postel estimated the return of up to $600,000 in NCAA Tournament revenue.
"The university under prior leadership never made excuses for what took place", he said.
During the press conference, Louisville remained adamant that the NCAA was too harsh in their punishment. The appeals committee stated when student-athletes participate while ineligible, these types of penalties are appropriate.
Rick Pitino, the coach at the time, denied any knowledge of the situation, but was sacked for recruiting violations in October.
Like you, I believe the university needed to appeal the decision as strongly as possible. The pain caused for our fans and the players who were not involved is perhaps the most regretful result of this decision.
The best effort by UofL and the nation's top litigator wasn't enough during the December appeal in Atlanta. We will need your help to do so.