One of the highlight moments of Kevin Keatts’ young coaching career disappeared from the NCAA record books on Tuesday.
Because of recruiting violations that occurred earlier this decade, Louisville must vacate the national championship it won in 2013 when Keatts was an assistant for the Cardinals, the NCAA ruled.
Louisville and the NCAA announced the ruling just after noon on Tuesday. In his first season at N.C. State’s head coach, Keatts was getting ready for a gameday shoot around with his team prior to Tuesday night’s game with Boston College, which N.C. State won 82-66.
“All I’m going to say on it is I’m just disappointed,” Keatts said Tuesday night.
Keatts spent three seasons as an assistant coach on Rick Pitino’s staff at Louisville, including the 2012-13 season that ended with the Cardinals defeating Michigan, 82-76, in the NCAA tournament championship game at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.
On Tuesday, that accomplishment was wiped out when the NCAA ruled Louisville must vacate 123 wins dating from 2012 to 2015 after an investigation found that a member of the coaching staff had provided prostitutes and strippers to players and recruits.
The penalties also erase Louisville’s 2012 Final Four appearance, which came in Keatts’ first season on Pitino’s staff.
The NCAA first announced the penalties last June. Louisville appealed the sanctions but the NCAA upheld them on Tuesday.
Andre McGee, a graduate assistant and later director of basketball operations, was found to have provided the prostitutes and strippers to players and recruits. Keatts was not implicated by the NCAA in any of the infractions.