Former Louisville assistant basketball coach Dino Gaudio has been charged with attempting to extort money and other valuables from the university, according to information released Tuesday by Michael Bennett, the Acting United States Attorney of the Western Kentucky District Court.
According to the prosecution, Gaudio, in a face-to-face meeting with Louisville officials on March 17, “threatened to report to the media allegations that the University of Louisville’s men’s basketball program had violated. [NCAA] rules in its production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and its use of graduate assistants in practice, unless the University of Louisville has paid [Gaudio] his salary for an additional 17 months or on condition that the lump sum is equivalent to 17 months salary. “
Later that day, according to the prosecution, Gaudio “texted staff at the University of Louisville containing one of the recruiting videos he threatened to send to the media.” The text message traveled outside of Kentucky, according to the government.
Gaudio, 64, is accused of interstate communication with the intention of extorting.
As detailed in the indictment document, after Gaudio was told his contract would not be renewed, he threatened to inform members of the media of alleged NCAA violations under the men’s basketball program. unless he receives a large sum of money, “he said. said in a statement. “The allegations of violations concern the inadmissible production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and the inadmissible use of graduate managers in practices and practices. Although the University cannot comment further due to the ongoing federal investigation and the NCAA process, it continues to cooperate. with the authorities as well as with the NCAA on the matter. “
Gaudio, a former ESPN analyst, spent three seasons under Louisville coach Chris Mack, who decided to replace Gaudio and his assistant Luke Murray in March after a disappointing year for the program.
“When he was not renewed he was hurt, he got angry and, during that, he made statements that he regrets,” said Gaudio’s lawyer Brian Butler. , at ESPN. “Unfortunately, these statements were recorded and he was not given the opportunity to repeat them. They were handed over to the police. Coach Gaudio takes full responsibility for his actions and his lack of judgment. and the statements he made in a very turbulent situation. He apologizes to his family and friends for his actions, and hopes that everyone will consider his 40 years of good and all the contributions he has made. brought. “
Under federal sentencing guidelines, Gaudio faces up to two years in prison and is eligible for probation.
“While I cannot comment on the details or the merits of the case, I am grateful for the professionalism of members of the United States law enforcement and prosecutor’s office,” Mack said in a statement. “The University and I were victims of Coach Gaudio’s conduct and I will continue to fully cooperate with the authorities in their investigations. We take any allegation of NCAA violation seriously as part of our basketball program and will work through NCAA processes to fully investigate the allegations. “
Louisville received a notice of allegations from the NCAA in May 2020, including a Level I allegation involving inappropriate recruiting offers for former signatory Brian Bowen II and the coach of another prospect, and three allegations of level II, including one against former basketball coach Rick Pitino. The matter is still being resolved through the independent liability resolution process.
Louisville is also accused of failing to adequately monitor the recruitment of an incoming and high-performance student-athlete.
The NCAA alleges that Pitino, who is now a coach at Iona, failed to meet his responsibility as a head coach when he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance. Former assistant coaches Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair are accused of providing ineligible benefits and transportation and of having illicit contact with a rookie.
In response to the NCAA, Louisville officials wrote that the university could not be held responsible for the fault of an Adidas employee and consultant and a former racing agent who had promised to pay the father $ 100,000. de Bowen after the same three men were found guilty of defrauding the university. in a federal criminal trial.
Following the death of Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser from a heart attack in 2007, Gaudio replaced his mentor and coached the Demon Deacons for the next three seasons, amassing a 61-31 record and reaching the twice NCAA tournament. He went on to become an ESPN college basketball analyst, a position he held until he joined Mack’s staff in 2018.
The two had worked together as assistants at Xavier. The Cardinals finished 24-7 during the 2019-20 campaign before the NCAA tournament was canceled. The following year, however, Mack’s team went 13-7 in a shortened season that did not end with an invitation to the NCAA tournament. The program has been sidelined for weeks due to COVID-19 issues.
After his team’s disappointing end, Mack said “there will definitely be changes.” A few weeks later, the team announced the layoffs of Gaudio and Murray.