Tuesday, September 18, 2018
Colleges

John Morgan represents ex-Louisville players suing NCAA over vacated national title

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) ó A group of former Louisville menís basketball players have filed a lawsuit against the NCAA over the organizationís vacation of the Cardinalsí 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four.

John Morgan, a Florida attorney who specializes in personal injury cases who last year considered a run for governor, is one of several lawyers representing former Cardinals captain Luke Hancock, the 2013 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, and four teammates from that title team. Morgan said a lawsuit had been filed and described the NCAA as "a morally bankrupt organization" that exploits student-athletes during a Wednesday news conference.

The suit filed Wednesday in Jefferson County Circuit Court does not specify monetary damages. It states the NCAA cast the plaintiffs in a false light and seeks declaration that it wrongfully vacated the plaintiffsí wins, honors and awards.

Morgan added, "If all we get is this championship back for Louisville, and the players, and the city, and Lukeís MVP back, thatís going to be plenty pay for us."

The attorney also mentioned former Louisville players Gorgui Dieng, Tim Henderson, Stephan Van Treese and Mike Marra as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The NCAA stripped Louisville of the title as part of sanctions for violations discovered during an escort scandal investigation .

Hancock stressed that his title ring "is not coming off" and said the embarrassing scandal continues to dog him despite not being involved.

"Itís been five years and I canít tell you two days where Iíve gone without having someone come to me and ask me if I had strippers or prostitutes in the dorm," he said.

"Iím excited that Morgan & Morgan has partnered with us and is going to represent us because enough is enough."

Messages left with the NCAA were not immediately returned.

The governing body in February denied the schoolís appeal and vacated 123 victories, including their third NCAA title, following an escortís book allegations in October 2015 that former basketball staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers for sex parties. Louisville removed the championship banner from its home arena soon afterward.

"We are used to fighting giants," Morgan said. "In the sports world, I donít think any giant exists like the NCAA. The NCAA is a giant, but the NCAA is a morally bankrupt organization that has taken advantage of economically disadvantaged kids throughout the country.

"They answer to nobody but are bad for everybody."

The liability attorney did not mention former Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who has denied knowledge of the activities alleged by Katina Powell in her book "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen."

Hancock said he frequently talks with Pitino but did not specifically ask if he wanted to be involved.

Several investigations soon followed after Powellís allegations, including ones by the school and the NCAA. Louisvilleís own investigation found that violations did occur and imposed penalties including sitting out the 2016 postseason in an effort to mitigate NCAA penalties.

The organization in June 2017 ordered Louisville to vacate victories that included the championship and Final Four appearance for activities it described as "repugnant" in its decision. Pitino was suspended for five games for failing to monitor McGee and vowed to fight the penalties. The school and the coach vowed then to fight the penalties.

As the appeals process unfolded, the Hall of Fame coach was suspended and eventually fired after 16 seasons last fall following Louisvilleís acknowledgment of its involvement in a federal corruption of college basketball.

Pitino is not named in the federal complaint and has denied knowledge of any payments made to the family of former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen. The coach is suing the school along with sportswear maker Adidas, which dropped him after his firing.

óóó

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/APóTop25

Comments
Willie Taggart inherited a rough offensive line situation that has gotten even worse

Willie Taggart inherited a rough offensive line situation that has gotten even worse

Take your pick of ugly stats or stories about how bad Florida State's offensive line is. Like how only three teams in the nation have allowed more tackles for a loss than FSU (27). Or how one of the most talented running back units in the country ran...
Published: 09/17/18
Gators journal: Volsí 1998 national title squad a sore spot with Mullen

Gators journal: Volsí 1998 national title squad a sore spot with Mullen

The Gators are likely to encounter a little extra wattage Saturday evening inside Neyland Stadium, where Tennessee's 1998 national title team will be honored.It's a nostalgia kick that still makes Dan Mullen wince.The first-year Gators coach was a gr...
Published: 09/17/18
Gators lose Malik Davis to broken foot

Gators lose Malik Davis to broken foot

Gators TB Malik Davis has encountered his second major setback in as many seasons.Coach Dan Mullen announced Monday that Davis, Hillsborough County's all-time leading prep rusher, suffered a broken foot in Saturday's 48-10 triumph against Colorado St...
Published: 09/17/18
Matt Bakerís AP Top 25 ballot: How far did LSU rise?

Matt Bakerís AP Top 25 ballot: How far did LSU rise?

Three big top-25 matchups led to some obvious movement in my AP Top 25 rankings. Ohio State answered every question about how it'd fare without Urban Meyer by beating TCU. The Buckeyes, accordingly, moved up to No. 3 on my ballot.LSU now has two wins...
Published: 09/16/18
Florida Gators beat Colorado State to win Jim McElwainless Bowl

Florida Gators beat Colorado State to win Jim McElwainless Bowl

GAINESVILLE — Florida's early performance against Colorado State on Saturday looked like a fitting tribute to the Jim McElwain era.The defense looked good. The quarterback did not. It wasn't entertaining, and yet the Gators were on track f...
Published: 09/15/18
UF journal: Freddie Swain starting to gain some swagger

UF journal: Freddie Swain starting to gain some swagger

GAINESVILLE — WR Freddie Swain has spent most of his Florida career looking for a home.Through two seasons, the Ocala native had only 16 catches and three touchdowns. He was among the UF receivers who were highly touted in high school but hadn'...
Published: 09/15/18
Matt Bakerís takeaways from Florida-Colorado State

Matt Bakerís takeaways from Florida-Colorado State

Dan Mullen wasn't kidding about his commitment to special teams, and it's clearly working. After two blocked field goals saved four points against Charleston Southern, UF scored two special-teams touchdowns against Colorado State.UF's offense began t...
Published: 09/15/18
Florida State continues to sputter, falls 30-7 to Syracuse

Florida State continues to sputter, falls 30-7 to Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. ó Syracuse took another big step toward putting the woeful recent past in the rearview mirror. Quarterback Tommy DeVito, subbing for injured starter Eric Dungey, scored on a 3-yard run and hit tight end Ravian Pierce with a 3-yard scor...
Published: 09/15/18
No. 21 Miami rolls past upset-minded Toledo 49-24

No. 21 Miami rolls past upset-minded Toledo 49-24

TOLEDO, Ohio ó A few more performances like this, and maybe Malik Rosier will win over those skeptical Miami fans. Rosier threw for two touchdowns and ran for three more, and the No. 21 Hurricanes outlasted upset-minded Toledo 49-24 on Saturday. Rosi...
Published: 09/15/18
Florida Gatorsí Cece Jefferson back from suspension against Colorado State

Florida Gatorsí Cece Jefferson back from suspension against Colorado State

GAINESVILLE — The Florida Gators will get a boost along their struggling lines Saturday.Defensive lineman Cece Jefferson will return to the field after serving a two-game suspension for academics. He won't start.Regardless, the 6-foot-1, 2...
Published: 09/15/18