Tiki and Tierney: Rick Pitino suggests the NCAA push the season back and play only league games
The top-rated player in a 2021 Louisville basketball recruiting class that was shaping up as one of the best in the country has decommitted from the Cardinals. Bryce Hopkins told 247Sports the “uncertainties on what is going on with the sanctions” are why he is reopening his recruitment.
Louisville received a notice of allegations from the NCAA in May alleging one Level I allegation — the most serious in nature — and three Level II allegations. The allegations stem from the Rick Pitino era and are related to pay-for-play allegations stemming from the FBI sting on college basketball.
A Louisville appeal of the alleged violations is pending, and it’s unclear how stiff of a punishment the Cardinals could receive for their alleged wrongdoings, considering they occurred under a former coach. But the NCAA could choose to make an example of Louisville since the school is still on probation for a 2015 scandal that forced it to vacate its 2013 national championship.
Hopkins originally committed to the Cardinals and coach Chris Mack in November 2019 before Louisville received the notice of allegations. The Chicago-area prospect also received offers from several Big Ten programs. The 247Sports scouting report on Hopkins describes him as a versatile player capable of playing on the perimeter who can also face up opponents offensively and rebound effectively. He posted on Twitter Sunday saying, “RESPECT MY DECISION.”
Despite Hopkins’ decommitment, Louisville’s recruiting class is still ranked No. 10 nationally in the 247Sports rankings as the Cardinals have commitments from four-star junior-college guard Elbert Ellis, and three-star high school prospects Bobby Pettiford and Eric Van Der Heijden.