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Two Former Louisville Stars Barred From Program As Players Prepare For 5th Anniversary Celebration Of 2013 Title

A close-up of Louisville's 2013 NCAA Champion banner.

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 09: The 2013 NCAA National Championship banner is unvieled before the Louisville Cardinals game against the College of Charleston Cougars at KFC YUM! Center on November 9, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

This year marks the five year anniversary of the 2013 Louisville basketball national championship, an event that has been marred by the various scandals involving players on that team, and head coach Rick Pitino. The NCAA has vacated the title, and a pair of the most important players on that team are not allowed to be in contact with the program.

Last year, former U of L forward Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell were informed that they will not be able to be involved in anything relating to the program for four years.

That decision was passed down by former athletic director Tom Jurich, who was ousted along with Pitino ahead of last college basketball season.

According to the Courier-Journal, the two are scheduled to be at this reunion:

Montrezl Harrell and Chane Behanan are scheduled to appear at a downtown reunion Friday for the University of Louisville basketball team whose 2013 NCAA championship has been vacated because of rules violations.

They cannot be made welcome by the basketball program until 2021.

Both Chane Behanan and Montrezl Harrell revealed that they had been banned from Louisville basketball on social media last year.

Harrell was barred from working out with the team over the summer, and posted as much to Instagram.

In another story post, he wrote "what a joke" with a "thumbs up" emoji. After Louisville site The Cardinal Connect wrote up the Harrell posts, Behanan responded to confirm that he had also been banned from the program. He's not happy about it, and said he wants to disassociate himself from the program as well.

According to the C-J report, this is a result of the two former Cardinals refusing to cooperate with the NCAA's investigation into the Katina Powell scandal.

In letters dated April 7, 2017 — one day short of the fourth anniversary of a title game that has since been struck from the record book — former U of L athletic director Tom Jurich informed Harrell, Behanan and Chris Jones that they would be formally disassociated from all aspects of the athletic department for a period of four years.

The letters were identical and included no allegations of NCAA infractions. Yet in refusing to be interviewed by investigators probing the tawdry tales of Katina Powell, the three players came in conflict with the level of cooperation expected by the university and may have complicated U of L’s case for leniency from the Committee on Infractions.

[...]

“The institution is disappointed that you elected not to be interviewed in this process,” Jurich wrote to Behanan, Harrell and Jones. “As a former member of the men’s basketball team, you are a valued member of the athletics department community. Such membership requires certain responsibilities, and one of those responsibilities is consenting to an interview regarding potential violations of NCAA legislation, if requested to do so by the university.”

It is a bit interesting that the 2013 team is having this celebration, given everything that's happened in the last year. Of course, the NCAA's decision to strip U of L of the title is silly and feckless; we all saw the game against Michigan, and know of Harrell and Behanan's roles in winning the title.