I dislike the NCAA as much as anybody, but, damn, this is going to be — hell, already is — a real shitshow.
Luke Hancock said he can’t go more than two days without somebody asking him if he had strippers in his college dormitory.
To the former Louisville basketball star, those interactions are evidence of his sullied reputation, a lingering effect of an NCAA investigation and sanctions tied to the escort scandal at the University of Louisville.
A lawsuit filed against the NCAA on Wednesday by five former University of Louisville men’s basketball players is an attempt to redeem reputations.
The five plaintiffs — former Louisville players Hancock, Gorgui Dieng, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson and Michael Marra — are seeking “a declaration that they are completely innocent of any wrongdoing as implied by the NCAA,” according to the lawsuit, which was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court.
The suit accuses the NCAA of portraying members of the 2013 team in a false light and seeks to restore the team’s 2013 national championship and associated accolades, which were vacated by the NCAA along with 123 wins as a result of the escort scandal.
“People’s reputations matter,” said attorney Keith Mitnik, who is representing the players.
Hancock, flanked by eight attorneys, was the lone player present Wednesday at a news conference to discuss the lawsuit. The former Louisville team captain wore his championship ring and sat stone-faced as attorneys invoked LeBron James, Louis Brandeis, Muhammad Ali and novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter” in a bizarre 35-minute prelude.
Lead attorney John Morgan, of personal injury law firm Morgan & Morgan, cast the NCAA as an overreaching bully, an organization with no authority to investigate — or levy punishment for — criminal actions.
Yeah, this is going far. (Although, sure, I’d love to watch Petino’s deposition, if things ever got to that stage.)
As the lawyer’s adage goes, if you have the law on your side, argue the law; if you have the facts, argue the facts; if you have neither, pound Donald Trump.