Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino believes the school should take legal action against the NCAA after the governing body nullified the Cardinals’ 2013 men’s basketball title.


Pitino, speaking from his attorney’s offices in New York, said that the NCAA’s decision to have Louisville vacate the title as part of sanctions for a sex scandal was unfair.

“I don’t know if this Board of Trustees will do that,” Pitino said when asked if Louisville should take legal action, “but they should because the players deserve it.”

The sex scandal occurred during Pitino’s coaching tenure, though the Hall of Fame coach reiterated that he didn’t know about the sex shows.

Pitino did take responsibility for the people he hired as assistant coaches – including Andre McGee, who an escort said hired her and other dancers for sex parties on campus with players and recruits that led to the NCAA investigation.

As for taking legal action himself, Pitino said he was defenseless in this situation, but he is suing Louisville for his dismissal. He was not fired after the sex scandal, but Louisville let him go in October after the school acknowledged it was being investigated as part of a federal college corruption case that is unrelated to the investigation of the sex scandal.

Louisville announced on Tuesday that the NCAA had denied its appeal of sanctions that included vacating 123 victories and the return of about $600,000 in conference revenue from the 2012-15 NCAA Tournaments. The school later removed banners of the 2013 championship and 2012 Final Four appearance.

Cardinals interim athletic director Vince Tyra said Tuesday that legal options hadn’t been discussed.