Rick Pitino has a tattoo commemorating Louisville's now-vacated 2013 national title

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I know that's not how this works, that it would be unfair to name MI the champs because maybe if Louisville had been ineligible for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, another team from their side of the bracket - say, No. 9 seed Wichita State, which lost to the Cardinals in the Final Four - might have gone on to the title game and won.

University of Louisville Interim President Greg Postel spoke after the NCAA ruled on Tuesday, Feb. 20, the University of Louisville will have to vacate wins and pay a fine.

The NCAA, in its final decision on the sex scandal, said that the basketball team's former staff member knew that his actions violated NCAA bylaws.

On Tuesday, the governing body announced the appeal has been rejected, according to ESPN.

"The NCAA's ruling can not change the accomplishments or the excitement generated by our Cardinals basketball team", Postel said. "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", he wrote.

It may not have a trophy or banner to show for it, but the truth is that Louisville won the 2013 national championship.

"This dark cloud has hung over our heads for more than two years, and it has had a negative impact on our athletics program, our fans and the entire university family", he added.

Ineligible players, whose identities have not been released, competed for Louisville from 2011-2012 through the 2014-15 seasons, which included the NCAA Tournament it won in 2013 and its Final Four appearance in 2012. And in addition to a postseason ban and scholarship reductions the university imposed on itself, the NCAA put U of L on four years of probation, handed down further recruiting restrictions and ordered the school to officially disassociate with McGee, plus the vacation of records and return of NCAA Tournament revenue from the affected seasons. In "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen", Powell alleged that former Louisville basketball staff member Andre McGee paid women thousands of dollars and gave them game tickets to dance for and have sex with players and recruits, the Courier-Journal reported.

The school's own investigation into the allegation revealed that violations occurred and resulted in a self-imposed postseason ban almost two years ago. But the NCAA committee on infractions ruled that Pitino violated NCAA head-coach responsibility rules by failing to monitor McGee's activities. Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave and former AD Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave September 27 following the school's involvement in the Federal Bureau of Investigation probe that initially involved the arrests of 10 people.