LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville said Friday that it is suspending head basketball coach Chris Mack for six games for failing to follow procedures in handling an extortion attempt by one of his assistants.
Mack “failed to follow university guidelines, policies, and procedures in handling the matter,” Louisville athletics director Vince Tyra said in a news release.
“I am confident that Coach Mack now understands the impact of his actions,” Tyra added. “We all have confidence in him moving forward.”
Mack said he accepts the suspension and “could have handled matters differently.”
Mack’s former assistant, Dino Gaudio, pleaded guilty in June to a federal charge of attempted extortion. Gaudio was sentenced in federal court Friday to probation and a $10,000 fine for the attempted extortion.
The university said it determined Mack was a victim of the attempted extortion.
Gaudio was dismissed from the team along with another assistant in March after the team missed the NCAA tournament. Federal prosecutors said Gaudio, after learning he would be fired, threatened to go to the news media with alleged NCAA violations by the team. He asked for 17 months of salary or a $425,000 lump sum payment, according to the U.S. attorney.
The basketball program weathered numerous scandals during former coach Rick Pitino’s tenure, and an NCAA investigation is continuing.
The suspension will include six nonconference games from Nov. 8 to 27, including two games in the Bahamas. Mack cannot have any contact with coaches or players during the suspension, and he will have to forfeit about $221,000 of his salary.