Attorney blasts ‘morally bankrupt’ NCAA as Louisville players aim to restore 2013 crown
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Lawyers representing several former UofL basketball players spoke for about an hour at a news conference Wednesday, sharing with local media some of the details of their lawsuit against the NCAA.
The attorneys -- led by John Morgan of the law firm Morgan & Morgan -- are representing the players in their effort to regain their 2013 national championship. The NCAA this year vacated UofL's title following the escort scandal that first came to light in 2015. Self-proclaimed escort queen Katina Powell rocked the Louisville basketball program with her bombshell memoir -- "Breaking Cardinal Rules" -- detailing sex parties involving basketball players and recruits from 2010-14.
The NCAA also vacated all of UofL's 123 victories during that span.
On Wednesday, Morgan spoke at length about the NCAA, an organization he called "morally bankrupt."
"The NCAA is the home of broken promises, broken bones, broken dreams and just flat out lies," Morgan said, adding that the governing body treats young athletes as "indentured servants."
"They should not be called student-athletes," Morgan said. "They should be called student-servants."
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Luke Hancock, the 2013 Final Four's Most Outstanding Player, sat among the lawyers at Wednesday's news conference. In addition to Hancock, several other former Cardinals attached their names to the suit, including Gorgui Dieng, Tim Henderson, Mike Marra and Stephan Van Treese.
Morgan said his legal team also aims to clear the names of the players on that title team, claiming that Hancock and others get asked all the time about the sex scandal.
"It's called false light," Morgan said.
The case has nothing to do with Rick Pitino's own legal fight. The Hall of Fame coach, who led UofL to that championship, was fired following the FBI's scathing 2017 investigation into corruption and bribery at several high-profile schools. Pitino and the school are suing each other in a contentious case that appears far from over. But Morgan still mentioned Pitino's name on several occasions Wednesday.
"There's no proof that Coach Pitino knew anything," Morgan said. "We're here today to clear names, we're here today to reinstate awards, we're here today to reinstate all those wins."
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