La Salle said the school was notified Monday by the NCAA that current Explorers assistant men’s basketball coach Kenny Johnson was named in a notice of allegations the association has served against Louisville from the time Johnson was a Cardinals assistant coach.
La Salle’s athletic department issued the following statement: “Today, the NCAA has notified La Salle University of alleged NCAA violations committed by Kenny Johnson, an assistant coach of the men’s basketball team, relating to his tenure on the coaching staff at the University of Louisville.”
The statement went on to say, “The substance of these alleged violations are in no way connected to his tenure at La Salle University. We take matters like this very seriously and will abstain from commenting any further at this time.”
Louisville released the notice of allegations, not naming the individuals allegedly involved. Included were Level I allegations of an improper recruiting offer, with two assistant coaches being involved, and “a Level II allegation of recruiting violations by the same two former men’s basketball coaching staff members in providing impermissible transportation and having impermissible contact in the context of recruitment-related activities.”
Johnson, a former Rick Pitino assistant at Louisville who was hired by Ashley Howard when Howard took over as Explorers head coach, could not be reached for comment.
In a federal trial, Johnson’s name had come up in testimony. Johnson was not implicated in the central case, that adidas steered money toward a player headed for Louisville. Instead, Brian Bowen Sr., father of the player headed for Louisville, testified that Johnson gave him $1,300 to help pay rent for the elder Bowen’s apartment at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville.
The NCAA also hit Pitino, the new coach at Iona, with a Level II violation allegation for not satisfying “his head coach responsibility when he failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance.”