NCAA reaches settlement with former Louisville players, but 2013 national championship remains vacated
Luke Hancock's 2013 Most Outstanding Player award has been reinstated, but the not the NCAA title itself
Five Louisville players who won a national championship for the Cardinals in 2013 reached a settlement agreement with the NCAA that reestablished their eligibility after a previous NCAA ruling determined they competed while ineligible and stripped UL of the NCAA Tournament title. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but in a statement on Monday, the law firm of Morgan & Morgan confirmed that Luke Hancock, Gorgui Dieng, Stephen Van Treese, Tim Henderson and Michael Marra were ruled eligible in the settlement despite the previous NCAA ruling. While the agreement does not negate the committee's ruling to vacate the 2013 championship, Hancock's Final Four Most Outstanding Player award and the rest of the players' statistics during the NCAA Tournament have been reinstated.
"We are thrilled to confirm that we have reached an agreement with the NCAA on behalf of our clients – Luke Hancock, Gorgui Dieng, Stephan Van Treese, Tim Henderson and Michael Marra – that affirms the players were eligible student athletes from 2011-2014, and that their awards, honors and statistics are validated – without an asterisk," attorney John Morgan said in a statement.
The settlement agreement is part of the fallout related to the NCAA's controversial ruling in 2018 to strip Louisville of its 2013 national championship and to rule the previously aforementioned players ineligible for their alleged involvement in the scandal that later became known as the "escort scandal." In the scandal, the NCAA determined that a former director of basketball operations arranged for "striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others," according to the NCAA. The violations committed resulted in the retroactive stripping of multiple players' eligibility from 2011-12 through 2014-15 which led to the Louisville having to take down the 2013 NCAA Tournament banner.
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