Fans optimistic after UofL receives light punishment in pay-for-play scandal

Now that the punishment has been released, some fans are asking: is that all?
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 10:45 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Fans have had been dealing with the scandals that have rocked the University of Louisville men’s basketball program for years.

Now that the punishment has been released, some fans are asking: is that all?

A two week ban from talking with recruits, a $5,000 fine, loss of seven recruiting days, and a two-year probation.

That’s the punishment the UofL men’s basketball program received from the NCAA Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

Some fans are happy just to finally put everything behind them.

“It’s been overdue,” Andy Ishmel, a UofL graduate and season ticket holder said. “Whatever happened, happened in the past, and I’m glad the kids aren’t going to have any consequences that are around today that had nothing to do with that stuff back then.”

Ishmel said a lot of the people who paid the price for the scandal weren’t even at the school when everything happened.

However, he didn’t have an opinion on if the punishment for the pay-for-play scandal was too light.

“I’m not the one decided on what should or shouldn’t happen, I’m glad it’s over,” Ishmel said. “I’m glad we’re just going to go forward play some ball and bring another national championship back here.”

Other fans have a stronger opinion.

“All that for that? It’s ridiculous,” Steve Smith said.

Smith has been a Louisville fan for as long as he can remember. He said the program has suffered for the last five years because of the scandals.

He thinks that impacted the IARP’s decision on punishment.

“Recruits, we haven’t gotten the players, fans are leaving, the donors have quit giving money to the university,” Smith said. “We were in the spotlight for good things, and now no one even cares about us.”

Smith is hoping the men’s basketball program has already reached rock bottom, and now the program can bounce back.

“It’s surely going to help Kenny Payne recruiting,” Smith said. “Now these other coaches aren’t going to be able to say, ‘Well if you go to Louisville, you’ll never play in the tournament.’ They can’t say that anymore. No more negative recruiting.”

As for this season, Smith is optimistic.

“It’s not how far you fall, it’s how high you bounce,” Smith said. “So let’s go, Cards.”

The Cards kick off the regular season next Wednesday against Bellarmine and the KFC Yum! Center.