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Louisville, former coaches Pitino, Mack avoid major penalties in NCAA probe

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Louisville won't face significant punishment following the conclusion of the NCAA's five-year investigation into alleged recruiting violations.

The Independent Accountability Resolution Process (IARP) announced its findings on Thursday, courtesy of Matt Norlander of CBS Sports. Former head coaches Rick Pitino and Chris Mack also avoided major penalties stemming from the probe. Pitino, who was let go in October 2017, is now at Iona, while Mack hasn't taken up another job since being fired in January.

The Cardinals didn't escape discipline entirely. Louisville received a $5,000 fine, a seven-day reduction in recruiting days, and a two-week ban of unofficial visits and recruitment communications, all for the 2022-23 season. The program is also under probation until Nov. 2, 2024. Former assistants Kenny Johnson (now at Rhode Island) and Jordan Fair were handed two-year show-cause orders in which any program that employs or hires them must prove to the NCAA why they shouldn't be penalized over the duration of the two years.

Louisville was initially implicated in the FBI's investigation into corruption in men's college basketball in 2017. Adidas, which began sponsoring Louisville apparel in 1998 and signed a 10-year, $160-million extension in 2017, was also a subject of the inquiry. The allegations centered around former five-star recruit Brian Bowen, whose family was claimed to have been offered $100,000 by former Adidas executives in order to entice Bowen to sign with the Cardinals.

Bowen was suspended from all team activities in September 2017. Despite being cleared by the NCAA that November, Louisville continued to hold him out, and he transferred to South Carolina the following January. However, he never played for the Gamecocks, either. Bowen declared for the 2018 NBA Draft but later withdrew and signed with Australia's Sydney Kings of the NBL. He made brief NBA appearances with the Indiana Pacers from 2019-21.

On Wednesday, Kansas announced it was self-imposing a four-game suspension for head coach Bill Self and assistant Kurtis Townsend, plus multiple recruiting restrictions, stemming from the same FBI corruption scandal.

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