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Louisville coach Rick Pitino says schools and coaches should be fined for violations, and that players who had nothing to do with infractions should not be penalized

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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky — Louisville coach Rick Pitino said schools and coaches should be fined for violations, and players who had nothing to do with infractions should not be penalized.

Pitino said athletic director Tom Jurich chose to keep Louisville out of this year's Atlantic Coast Conference and NCAA tournaments.

The decision came after an investigation revealed that violations occurred when the school reviewed allegations by an escort that a former staffer paid her and other dancers for sex parties at the team's dormitory. University President James Ramsey announced the ban Friday.

Speaking after the No. 19 Cardinals' 79-47 rout of Boston College on Saturday, Pitino said he thinks "it's wrong to penalize these kids in this regard" by keeping them out of competition. Louisville's streak of nine straight NCAA tournament appearances will end with the ban.

Pitino suggested a $10 million fine for schools and a big financial hit for coaches.

"Even though they (coaches) didn't know about it, it doesn't matter, they should be fined 50 percent of their salaries because they were leading," Pitino said.

"You should kill the university pocketbook right away and take that money and put it in a scholarship fund for needy kids to go to college and athletes and so on. This is wrong. It's a bad system, but that does not mean we are not wrong in what we've done."

Though it is unclear if Louisville will implement additional self-imposed penalties if its investigation uncovers more violations, the NCAA could hit the men's program with more sanctions.

Asked about petitions circulating that seek reconsideration of the ban, the Hall of Fame coach said Jurich made the call with Ramsey's approval. Though he was not consulted and disagreed with the penalty, Pitino defended his athletic director.

"We should be penalized, no question about it, but not this team," the coach said. "But the NCAA didn't make that decision, we made that decision. So we've got to stick with it and just move forward in a positive way."

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