LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It's the finale to years of accusations, violations and appeals in the fallout from the Katina Powell sex scandal. The NCAA Committee on Infractions denied the University of Louisville's appeal.
While saying UofL leaders can now focus on the future, Dr. Greg Postel, the UofL interim president, also expressed his disagreement and disappointment. During a news conference following the release of the NCAA's decision, Postel said the university hired one of the top lawyers from Georgetown, later named litigator of the year, to make it's case to the NCAA in Atlanta in December. Postel also said he and Interim Athletic Director Vince Tyra felt like the NCAA had its mind made up and never really listened to their argument.
"I cannot say this strongly enough," Postel said, "we believe the NCAA is simply wrong to have made this decision."
Refusing to change its mind, the NCAA ordered the Cards 2013 national championship banner down and all men's basketball victories from 2011-12 to the 2014-15 season, including the 2012 Final Four, vacated.
"This is where your emotions move to the sad," Tyra said. "I'm sad for our players, I'm certainly sad for our staff and those who helped create the success and for our fans in particular."
Tyra said while the NCAA can take away formal recognition they cannot take away the memories.
"We won in Atlanta," Tyra said, "My mother wore her celebratory hat on the plane and that's a memory I won't forget."
"We felt that the young men who achieved these victories and the thousands of fans who supported them deserved our best effort," Postel said of the appeal.
The best effort by UofL and the nation's top litigator wasn't enough during the December appeal in Atlanta.
"I think it went on deaf ears," Tyra said.
Postel said while the Katina Powell sex scandal was appalling, precedence for the case did not exist. That gave the NCAA Infractions Committee wide discretion to make its decision on penalties. Postel believes the committee focused on the salacious details, not any part of the appeal.
Despite UofL cooperating with the NCAA, self-imposing penalties and coming up with new regulations on campus, Postel said the NCAA didn't give the university any credit.
"Under the NCAA's own rules, such cooperation should have been a factor in determining the severity of the punishment," Postel said. "Instead it was ignored."
"They can take the banner down, we know we won the 2013 National Championship," said Kurtis Brinkman, a UofL junior who stopped by the news conference to hear the news.
UofL leaders say suing the NCAA would be difficult and expensive and it's hard to justify the money considering everything else the university is going through.