Dino Gaudio, a longtime college basketball coach who most recently served as an assistant at Louisville, has been federally charged with extortion. Hours after rumors about big Louisville news hit the college basketball corner of social media, the news came down about the former Cardinals assistant.
Gaudio joined Chris Mack‘s staff at U of L in 2018. It was his first coaching job since 2010, when he was let go as head coach at Wake Forest. Gaudio also had tenures as head coach at Army and Loyola, and was an assistant at Xavier two separate times.
In March, Louisville announced that Dino Gaudio and Luke Murray would not return for the 2021-22 season as members of Mack’s staff. While Louisville had a disappointing 13-7 season that ended with a missed NCAA Tournament in 2020-21, the moves were largely unexpected.
According to multiple reports, including those by Hayley Minogue of WHAS11 News and Jason Riley of WDRB, Gaudio threatened to extort the school by reporting “media allegations that the UL program violated NCAA rules in its production of recruiting videos for prospective student athletes” if the school did not pay him 17 months of salary, either over that time period or in a lump sum.
Gaudio said he would expose this allegation if UofL didn’t continue to pay his salary for 17 months or provided a lump sum equal to 17 months salary, according to the federal documents.
— Hayley Minogue (@HayleyMinogueTV) May 18, 2021
Gaudio extorted money from UofL, threatening to tell the media about recruiting violations, according to the charging document.
— Jason Riley (@JasonRileyWDRB) May 18, 2021
It does not appear that the departure of Luke Murray, who is considered a rising star in the coaching world, is connected. According to a previous article by Rick Bozich of WDRB, Murray was “pursuing opportunities as an assistant” elsewhere after missing out on the head coaching jobs at College of Charleston and Fordham.
The infractions that Dino Gaudio was reportedly looking to expose seem minor at best. Louisville’s recent history of NCAA improprieties under Rick Pitino probably mean the program is more sensitive to even minor violations getting out, but these don’t seem like issues that would cause the NCAA to come down hard on the Cardinals.
So, former Louisville assistant Dino Gaudio was pissed he got fired and threatened to report rules violations regarding recruiting videos and the use of graduate assistants in practices in order to try and get paid for another year-plus.
Not exactly a bombshell.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) May 18, 2021
If true, this was such a massive mistake by Dino Gaudio that it is hard to believe. Threatening to release information unless money is paid is literally a federal crime, and one for which real prison time could exist.
I know you are upset you were fired…but whoa
— Matt Jones (@KySportsRadio) May 18, 2021
We’ll have more as it comes out, but if this is true, it is one of the more bizarre things we’ve seen in a sport full of strange scandals in recent years.