The next major step in the NCAA's 12-month investigation into the University of Louisville is expected to drop this week.
The Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting, via multiple sources, that the NCAA will send its formal Notice of Allegations to Louisville on Thursday. The NOA is tied to the scandal at Louisville in which a self-proclaimed former escort, Katina Powell, claims multiple former Louisville recruits and players were party to multiple NCAA violations involving money exchange from a former Louisville staffer, in addition to sex and entertainment for U of L athletes.
Coach Rick Pitino has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the allegations.
Louisville made a preemptive strike last season when it put itself on a postseason ban in an effort to lighten any NCAA punishment that could come from the case. In doing so, a Louisville statement from February gave credence to some of the allegations stemming from Powell and her book that set off this story in early October 2015.
John Karman, a university spokesman, declined to comment on when the allegations are expected or will be announced, and Larry Benz, chairman of the board of trustees, said he didn't know that either was set for this week. Larry Wilder, one of Powell's lawyers, said he was expecting the university to receive the allegations this week.
The report also is likely to disclose whether the NCAA was able to determine whether Pitino knew in advance or was unaware of the allegations in Powell's book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen." He has adamantly denied knowing about them before the book was published.
Louisville has 90 days to formally, and if it chooses, publicly, refute the NCAA's findings. If that happens, the NCAA's window is 60 days to issue one more counter.
The big question on the table remains this: Will the NCAA go after Louisville's 2013 NCAA championship banner? A Notice of Allegations won't include what penalties could be coming, but that's certainly the elephant in the room. Players from that title team have been named by Powell.
Pitino said recently he believes the school's self-discipline should mostly satisfy the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, which will make a ruling on punishment in 2017. Louisville's self-punishment from last season also includes taking away four scholarships between 2017 and 2018 and limiting official visits for recruits.