Louisville Men’s Basketball coach Chris Mack has been suspended for six games without pay for the upcoming 2021-2022 season. This comes as a result of the Dino Gaudio extortion situation, though it is not directly related to the extortion attempt itself or the ongoing NCAA review. Coach Mack’s suspension will be served November 6th-November 27th. This will include two games that are being played as part of a tournament in the Bahamas.
As mentioned above, the suspension is not directly related to the extortion attempt itself or NCAA review. Instead, the press release from UofL states its due to Coach Mack’s handling of the situation and failure to follow university policy to address the matter. Coach Mack, for his part, graciously accepted the suspension. He will not be allowed any contact with his coaching staff or the players during the suspension.
It’s yet another issue for a program that has had a myriad of them in recent years. However, it is nice to see that President Neeli Bendapudi and AD Vince Tyra has basically a zero-tolerance policy and it is also nice to see the head coach accept responsibility and punishment. Sadly, the optics will lead to more fodder for sports talk radio. Hopefully, the suspension will be the last of this and the university, it’s men’s basketball program, Coach Mack, and AD Tyra can move on and continue to build the program back up.
To read statements from President Bendapudi, AD Tyra, and Coach Mack, read the press release below:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The University of Louisville announced today that Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Mack will be suspended without pay for six games during the upcoming 2021-2022 season.
The University concluded that while Mack was a victim of an extortion attempt by former assistant coach Dino Gaudio, Mack failed to follow University guidelines, policies, and procedures in handling the matter. The sanctions imposed upon Coach Mack are unrelated to the extortion attempt itself and the ongoing NCAA process.
“As I have said since the beginning of my tenure, we have high expectations for all of our staff members and coaches and we hold people accountable for their actions,” said U of L Vice President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra. “While we have made great strides over the last four years in changing the culture in our Department of Athletics, we cannot afford to have any setbacks, no matter how big or small, in our pursuits. I am confident that Coach Mack now understands the impact of his actions. We all have confidence in him moving forward. I am grateful for the partnership and support of President Bendapudi in this matter.”
The suspension is from November 8th through November 27th and covers six non-conference games, including two games in the Bahamas. During the suspension, Coach Mack is prohibited from having any contact with the men’s basketball coaching staff or student-athletes. As the suspension is without pay, Coach Mack will forfeit approximately $221,000 in compensation.
“Our university is on a positive trajectory in so many areas and athletics is a critical component to our mission and to our engagement,” said President Neeli Bendapudi. “While Chris has done so many positive things during a challenging time for our men’s basketball program, he is held to the same standards as other U of L employees, and we believe that this suspension is commensurate with his actions—whether intentional or not.”
“I regret that any of my unintentional actions or failures to follow University guidelines have brought unnecessary attention to our outstanding athletics programs and University,” said Mack. “I understand that I could have handled matters differently and therefore I accept this suspension. While it will kill me to be away from our basketball family in November, I will do everything possible to set them up for success before and after my time away, and I am fully confident that our coaches, staff and student-athletes will rise to the occasion.”