After Louisville’s Latest Scandal, Is It Time to Put Men’s Basketball Program in NCAA-Induced Coma?

A tradition like no other: Louisville basketball and extortion plots.

Seriously, this is the extent of the outlandish weirdness that the men’s program wears like a retch-inducing cheap cologne: for the second time in a dozen years, the Cardinals say they are the victims of a bizarre blackmail scheme requiring federal intervention. There was Rick Pitino’s extortion at the hands of a woman he had sex with in a restaurant, which put Karen Sypher behind bars for years; and there is the current case that blew up Tuesday when former assistant coach Dino Gaudio was federally charged for allegedly threatening in March to turn over NCAA violations to the media if his demands for money weren’t met.

What in the actual hell?

But wait, there also is the slalom through scandal between the bookend extortions: the strippers in the dorm that were arranged and paid for by a Louisville staffer, which led to major NCAA sanctions; and the Brian Bowen payola scam that was part of the Southern District of New York’s exposure of corruption in college basketball, which is still winding its way through the NCAA crime-and-punishment process.

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