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Ex-UofL assistant basketball coach federally charged in extortion scheme


Another scandal for the University of Louisville basketball program: A former assistant coach is facing federal charges, accused of trying to extort money from the school.Dino Gaudio, who was let go in March, is facing one count of interstate communication with intent to extort, according to court documents from the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Kentucky.U.S. Attorney Michael Bennet alleges that Gaudio attempted to extort money from UofL during a meeting on March 17. This allegedly happened after his firing.Documents say he threatened to report to the media allegations that the basketball team had violated NCAA rules in its production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and in its use of graduate assistants in practices.According to the court documents, Gaudio wanted UofL to pay his salary for an additional 17 months or provide the lump sum equivalent of 17 months of salary.In a text message later the same day, Gaudio sent one of the recruiting videos to UofL personnel, threatening to send it out if his demands weren’t met, documents state. The investigators allege the text with the videos were sent across state lines, making it a federal case.It wasn’t until the next day on March 18 that media reports began circulating that Gaudio’s contract with UofL would not be renewed. UofL officials took the threats to the FBI.Gaudio coached with Head Coach Chris Mack at Xavier before moving on with him in 2018 to Louisville. His attorney, Brian Butler, spoke to WLKY about the allegations, adding that his client made those threats because he felt blindsided when Mack told him he was being let go after a 30-year professional relationship with the head coach.”He was hurt, he was angry and unfortunately he made some statements that he wished he wouldn’t have made and those statements were taped and they were turned into law enforcement before he had any opportunity to really reflect or walk those statements back,” Butler said.Butler said he could not speak on the allegations made against the UofL men’s basketball program. He said his client plans to take “full responsibility for his lapse of judgment.”Mack said in a statement Tuesday, “While I cannot comment on the details or substance of the matter, I am grateful for the professionalism of members of law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office. “The University and I were the victims of Coach Gaudio’s conduct and I will continue to fully cooperate with authorities in their investigations. We take seriously any allegation of NCAA violations within our basketball program and will work within the NCAA processes to fully review the allegations.” The university also sent out a statement:”This afternoon, the United States Attorney’s Office of Western Kentucky charged former University of Louisville assistant men’s basketball coach Dino Gaudio with ‘interstate communication with intent to extort’ related to the non-renewal of his contract with the University. As detailed in the charging document, after Gaudio was informed that his contract would not be renewed, he threatened to inform members of the media of alleged NCAA violations within the men’s basketball program unless he was paid a significant sum of money. The allegations of violations are the impermissible production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and the impermissible use of graduate managers in practices and workouts. While the University cannot comment further due to the ongoing federal investigation and the NCAA process, it continues to cooperate with authorities as well as with the NCAA on the matter.” Luke Murray, who also followed Mack from Cincinnati, was let go at the same time as Gaudio.As for why Mack was letting them go, he said this, “You know, they’re two excellent coaches – Dino and Luke. Excellent. And, you know, the honest assessment, our program wasn’t where I wanted it to be at the end of this past season.”This is just the latest of many blows to the program already plagued by scandal.Louisville received a notice of allegations from the NCAA in May 2020, which included improper recruiting offers for former signee Brian Bowen and the coach of another prospect. It also included allegations against former head coach Rick Pitino. The case is still being adjudicated through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process. Then there’s Katina Powell and her book about providing strippers and sex parties to UofL basketball players, which led to NCAA sanctions for the program.And years before that, Pitino was the target of his own extortion by Karen Sypher.

Another scandal for the University of Louisville basketball program: A former assistant coach is facing federal charges, accused of trying to extort money from the school.

Dino Gaudio, who was let go in March, is facing one count of interstate communication with intent to extort, according to court documents from the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Kentucky.

U.S. Attorney Michael Bennet alleges that Gaudio attempted to extort money from UofL during a meeting on March 17. This allegedly happened after his firing.

Documents say he threatened to report to the media allegations that the basketball team had violated NCAA rules in its production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and in its use of graduate assistants in practices.

According to the court documents, Gaudio wanted UofL to pay his salary for an additional 17 months or provide the lump sum equivalent of 17 months of salary.

In a text message later the same day, Gaudio sent one of the recruiting videos to UofL personnel, threatening to send it out if his demands weren’t met, documents state. The investigators allege the text with the videos were sent across state lines, making it a federal case.

It wasn’t until the next day on March 18 that media reports began circulating that Gaudio’s contract with UofL would not be renewed. UofL officials took the threats to the FBI.

Gaudio coached with Head Coach Chris Mack at Xavier before moving on with him in 2018 to Louisville. His attorney, Brian Butler, spoke to WLKY about the allegations, adding that his client made those threats because he felt blindsided when Mack told him he was being let go after a 30-year professional relationship with the head coach.

“He was hurt, he was angry and unfortunately he made some statements that he wished he wouldn’t have made and those statements were taped and they were turned into law enforcement before he had any opportunity to really reflect or walk those statements back,” Butler said.

Butler said he could not speak on the allegations made against the UofL men’s basketball program. He said his client plans to take “full responsibility for his lapse of judgment.”

Mack said in a statement Tuesday, “While I cannot comment on the details or substance of the matter, I am grateful for the professionalism of members of law enforcement and the United States Attorney’s Office.

“The University and I were the victims of Coach Gaudio’s conduct and I will continue to fully cooperate with authorities in their investigations. We take seriously any allegation of NCAA violations within our basketball program and will work within the NCAA processes to fully review the allegations.”

The university also sent out a statement:

“This afternoon, the United States Attorney’s Office of Western Kentucky charged former University of Louisville assistant men’s basketball coach Dino Gaudio with ‘interstate communication with intent to extort’ related to the non-renewal of his contract with the University. As detailed in the charging document, after Gaudio was informed that his contract would not be renewed, he threatened to inform members of the media of alleged NCAA violations within the men’s basketball program unless he was paid a significant sum of money. The allegations of violations are the impermissible production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes and the impermissible use of graduate managers in practices and workouts. While the University cannot comment further due to the ongoing federal investigation and the NCAA process, it continues to cooperate with authorities as well as with the NCAA on the matter.”

Luke Murray, who also followed Mack from Cincinnati, was let go at the same time as Gaudio.

As for why Mack was letting them go, he said this, “You know, they’re two excellent coaches – Dino and Luke. Excellent. And, you know, the honest assessment, our program wasn’t where I wanted it to be at the end of this past season.”

This is just the latest of many blows to the program already plagued by scandal.

Louisville received a notice of allegations from the NCAA in May 2020, which included improper recruiting offers for former signee Brian Bowen and the coach of another prospect. It also included allegations against former head coach Rick Pitino.

The case is still being adjudicated through the Independent Accountability Resolution Process.

Then there’s Katina Powell and her book about providing strippers and sex parties to UofL basketball players, which led to NCAA sanctions for the program.

And years before that, Pitino was the target of his own extortion by Karen Sypher.



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