The University of Louisville plans to announce on Friday a self-imposed postseason ban on its men’s basketball team for the 2015-16 campaign.
The school informed the team’s players in a meeting early Friday afternoon, a source close to the program told The Courier-Journal.
“It’s reasonable to conclude that violations have occurred in men’s basketball program in the past,” school President James Ramsey said during a news conference Friday to announce the sanctions.
The coaches told the players they only had nine games left, another source said, which is the remainder of the regular season.
The decision comes as the NCAA continues to investigate a woman’s claims that she and other escorts were paid thousands of dollars and given game tickets in exchange for dancing for and having sex with Louisville basketball players and recruits from 2010-14.
It is a significant blow to coach Rick Pitino and his current team, which has an 18-4 record and is in second place in the competitive Atlantic Coast Conference.
Louisville, ranked 18th in the USA TODAY Sports, had high hopes for deep runs in the ACC and NCAA tournaments, and has a team built around two graduate transfers, Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, who came to Louisville to play their final college season and pursue their first NCAA tournament bid.
Reached Friday, Lee’s mother, Michelle Riddick, declined to comment. She said in December that there’s “nothing we can do about” the ongoing investigations.
“We’d like to see my son play in the tournament,” she said. “We can’t stress ourselves over what ifs or what might happen.”