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#pounditSaturday, November 27, 2021

Report: Louisville players voted against NIT, school accepted invitation anyway

Louisville Cardinals

Louisville players feel like they were snubbed from the NCAA Tournament after they went 20-13 and beat some quality opponents, and they apparently do not want to compete for the NIT title as a consolation prize.

Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier Journal reports that Louisville’s players voted against playing in the NIT Tournament, but school officials accepted the invitation anyway. The players reportedly voted on the NIT before the ACC Tournament and held a players-only meeting after they were left out of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday night, though it’s unclear what was discussed at the meeting.

Louisville players are said to be “emotionally exhausted” after a season that was overshadowed by more than one scandal and former head coach Rick Pitino being fired. Sanctions from a recruiting scandal involving strippers being paid for sex acts were handed down last month, and the Cardinals were forced by the NCAA to vacate 123 victories from 2012-2015, including their 2013 national championship.

Aside from that, Louisville is also involved in the FBI’s investigation into widespread fraud and illegal recruiting across college basketball.

Interim athletic director Vince Tyra said on “The Deener Show” on WHBE-680 last week that Louisville accepted the NIT invitation before knowing if they would have a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

“They send the invite, and you have to do it in parallel, that if you do fall to the NIT, that you will indeed accept the bid,” he said. “So we will play if there is that opportunity. I hope there isn’t. … But if indeed that does happen, we would play.”

Louisville players said they believed they deserved an at-large bid in the dance, and a conspiracy theory that circulated on Sunday indicated they are not alone in thinking that.

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