NCAA finally acts, UofL can resume journey again

The worst possible outcome.

The ultimate indignity of the result of Andre McGee’s actions has become a reality with the NCAA’s decision that the University of Louisville must take down the 2013 NCAA banner. 

Any official references to UofL’s third national championship must be removed from the playing facilities and future media guides. And the athletic department is subject to a $600,000 fine. 

The irritating thing about running afoul of NCAA restrictions is the time involved in the investigative process. The revelation about McGee was made in October 2015, making UofL subject to all kinds of ridicule and angst for almost two-and-a-half years. Agonizing and unnecessary.

Small wonder that many Louisville fans feel a sense of relief now that the NCAA has announced the punishment. The legal process is flawed, the punishment is not justified, and the NCAA has once again suffered a self-inflicted blow to its credibility.

The problems within the NCAA that are reflective of what have been happening with higher education over several decades. So much competition, jealousy, arrogance in a class system of universities. They preach publicly about “fairness and equality” while crushing institutions and athletic programs for the actions of one or two individuals.

It never mattered that the University of Louisville tried to do the right thing, self-imposing an NCAA tournament ban, reducing its recruiting budget and the number of scholarships. This was a chance for a group of officials from other schools within the NCAA to throw the book at another school. Especially gratifying to them because UofL’s growth had been so phenomenal over the past decade.

UofL will recover and move on from this, much stronger from all of the trials and indignities. Louisville alumni and fans have been through a lot but the vast majority of them will remain supportive and loyal. 

The athletic department has hit bottom, and there’s nowhere to go but up from here. It begins here. Now.