Former Louisville assistant Dino Gaudio facing federal charges for alleged extortion against Cardinals program

Former Louisville assistant Dino Gaudio facing federal charges for alleged extortion against Cardinals program thumbnail

Former Louisville assistant basketball coach Dino Gaudio, an original member of the coaching staff at U of L since Chris Mack accepted the head coaching job in 2018, has been federally charged with attempted extortion against the program. According to charging documents filed Tuesday from the U.S. Attorney’s office of Western Kentucky, Gaudio is alleged to have threatened to report media allegations that the Louisville program violated NCAA rules in production of recruiting videos for prospective student-athletes.

Gaudio allegedly committed the extortion in two separate instances on March 17. The charging document alleges the first instance was in a meeting with University of Louisville personnel where he threatened to share the NCAA rules violation as a bargaining chip for 17 months salary. He later sent a text that day to Louisville personnel containing one of the videos he was threatening to share. The charging document alleges Gaudio, in doing so, “knowingly transmitted in interstate commerce, with intent to extort money and other things of value from the University of Louisville, a threat to injure the reputation of the University of Louisville.” 

His contract with the school expired the following month and he was not welcomed back to the program. 

“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,” Louisville said Tuesday in a statement. “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 continue to cooperate with authorities as well as with the NCAA on the matter.”

Gaudio is a well-traveled coach whose career spans nearly three decades. He began his head-coaching career at Army in the early 1990s before a stint as an assistant at Xavier, where he coached Mack. He later served as the head coach at Loyola (Md.) and finally at Wake Forest, where he led the Demon Deacons to two NCAA Tournament appearances after a long tenure there as an assistant. He became a broadcaster with ESPN after his ouster at Wake Forest in 2010 before re-emerging on Mack’s staff.

In a statement Tuesday, Mack said he and Louisville are the “victims of Coach Gaudio’s conduct” and that he is cooperating fully with authorities in their investigations.

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