Feb. 20 (UPI) -- Former Louisville basketball players are still claiming their 2013 National Championship, despite the NCAA clearing the title from the record books.
The NCAA Infractions Appeal Committeed ruled on Tuesday that Louisville must vacate its 2013 National Championship and its 2012 Final Four appearance in relation to a sex scandal. An NCAA investigation found that a member of the coaching staff provided strippers to players and recruits. Tuesday's decision upheld earlier penalties imposed by college sports' governing body.
"In the Committee on Infractions' decision, the panel found that a former Louisville director of basketball operations acted unethically when he committed serious violations by arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others, and did not cooperate with the investigation," The NCAA said in a news release. "The violations in the case resulted in some men's basketball student-athletes competing while ineligible."
The school argued that the vacation of the records and financial penalty should be "set aside because they are excessive," according to the release. Louisville also contended that the penalties were based on participation of student-athletes who were not culpable in the violations, received negligible benefits as a result, and for whom reinstatement would likely have been granted."
The committee ruled that the penalties were appropriate.
Louisville was stripped of 123 wins and must pay the NCAA about $600,000 in fines, according to interim school president Greg Postel.
You can take away the banner but you can’t take away the long hours in the gym the incredible wins the passion that this team played with! They were an inspiration to young athletes including myself!! Go ahead take away the banner but we all know who won in 2013 #L1C4✊🏾🙏🏾 pic.twitter.com/7Xaj9LkbuR— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) February 20, 2018
"I cannot say this strongly enough: We believe the NCAA is simply wrong," Postel said in a news release Tuesday. "We disagree with the NCAA ruling for reasons we clearly stated in our appeal. And we made a strong case - based on NCAA precedent - that supported our argument."
Former Cardinals stars Kevin Ware and Donovan Mitchell tweeted about the news on Tuesday.
"You can take away the banner but you can't take away the long hours in the gym the incredible wins the passion that this team played with! They were an inspiration to young athletes including myself!! Go ahead take away the banner but we all know who won in 2013," Mitchell tweeted.
The NCAA has now stripped 20 programs of national championships.