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Breaking: Former Louisville Basketball Coach Charged With Extortion

Louisville basketball's players huddle up before a game.

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 13: The Louisville men's basketball team huddles before the game against the Samford Bulldogs at KFC YUM! Center on November 13, 2015 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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 joinedChris 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

Former Assistant University of Louisville basketball coach Dino Gaudio has been federally charged with extortion

— Jason Riley (@JasonRileyWDRB) May 18, 2021

">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.

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.

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.