Barring a successful appeal to a ruling that was handed down on Thursday morning, Louisville is going to become the first team in college basketball history to have to take down a national title banner.
The details are pretty straight-forward: If one of the three enrolled student-athletes or 15 recruits that the were determined by the NCAA to have received “adult entertainment and/or sex acts” from strippers and sex workers played in any game from Dec. 2010 through July 2014, when Louisville staffer Andre McGee was paying for girls to come around Louisville’s Billy Minardi Hall, then that game is to be vacated from the Louisville record books.
According to Chuck Smrt, a former NCAA enforcement director who has been assisting Louisville in this matter, 108 games and 15 NCAA tournament wins are in jeopardy.
That includes the 2013 National Title.
What happens if Louisville loses their appeal?
Well, they can no longer do anything to officially reference winning that title. Banners come down. Record books must be changed. For all intents and purposes, Louisville must never again acknowledge that their run to the national title — which included Kevin Ware breaking his leg in the Elite 8 against Duke, a marvelous comeback in the Final Four against Wichita State and one of the most exciting halves of basketball in NCAA tournament history as Luke Hancock and Spike Albrecht went shot-for-shot — took place.
It doesn’t, however, mean that Michigan, whom Louisville beat in the national title game, won the 2013 National Championship.
This not like the Olympics. A silver medal does not turn to gold when the official winner is ruled a cheat. Michigan still lost that game in the eyes of the NCAA. Louisville did not forfeit the win. They just … also lost.
There is no winner.
Officially speaking, as of today, no one won the 2013 national title.