In appeal paperwork filed with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, Louisville called the sanctions handed down earlier this summer “draconian”, “unjust” and “grossly disproportionate”.

After an investigation that lasted more than a year, the NCAA ruled that, in addition to the self-imposed penalties from early 2016, which included a ban from the 2015-16 postseason, Rick Pitino was to be suspended for five games and the Cardinals would have to forfeit every game in which a retroactively ineligible player participated. This would mean that Louisville’s 2012 Final Four and 2013 National Title would be vacated.

According to the appeal, Louisville “fully agrees … that McGee committed egregious misconduct” and “does not dispute in the slightest that his actions warranted serious penalties” for both himself and the university. That, they say, is why they self-imposed sanctions, which, at the time, was a massive deal. In other words, Louisville’s argument is that they already gave themselves a significant punishment, and that the COI incorrectly did not factor that into their decision-making process when handing out a punishment.

The other argument that Louisville makes is that none of the three players that were ruled retroactively ineligible were “properly deemed ineligible,” saying that one player left the room before the dance had started, one received benefits below the NCAA’s restitution threshold and one was “shielded by the COI’s grant of limited immunity.”