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NCAA expert says Cards could have bigger problems

RAW INTERVIEW: Billy Reed says UofL saga won't end until Andre McGee comes forward
Updated: Feb. 20, 2018 at 6:38 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The NCAA dropped the hammer, and kept it down.

The University of Louisville appealed the decision that would cost the school its 2013 national championship, but lost that appeal on Tuesday.

UofL hired expensive attorneys to battle the decision that followed the Katina Powell sex scandal. The NCAA found that sexual favors were provided to recruits and players and that was an improper extra benefit.

It drew salacious headlines. It brought the title banner down.

Should UofL have spent so much money on an appeal? The administration wanted to show fans and boosters it was fighting for them, but NCAA expert David Ridpath, from Ohio University, told WAVE 3 News the money could have been better spent.

"I understand that to an extent, but it's a lot of money," Ridpath said. "It could've been better spent and I think most people like me who follow this knew that there was virtually no chance they would win this appeal."

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The university will have to return $600,000 in NCAA Tournament revenue. Some had predicted the monetary hit would be much worse, but Ridpath said there's a lot of money the NCAA can't touch.

"Honestly, a lot of millions have already been procured through sponsorships and other things that can never really be taken away," he said.

Still to come, the NCAA awaits more information from the FBI investigation, an entirely separate scandal announced in 2017 that could involve improper benefits and payments to players at UofL and more than 30 other schools, according to some reports. It's part of the investigation that led to the firings of UofL athletic director Tom Jurich and Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino. Among the FBI's initial accusations was a claim that UofL offered $100,000 to the family of prized recruit Brian Bowen.

"It might be that Louisville has bigger problems than this, and I think that's what people have to realize," Ridpath said. "As painful as today might be, we haven't even heard the last of it with this FBI investigation."

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