Louisville’s Problems Won’t Go Away – The Interior Journal



kentucky today

It looks like the problems at the University of Louisville stemming from its athletics department just aren’t going to go away.

Amy Shoemaker

Since hiring Kenny Payne as the new Cardinals men’s basketball coach, UofL has been riding a wave of renewed enthusiasm, favorable media coverage and thoughts of future success.

Amy Shoemaker has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the University of Louisville.

But now comes an unexpected development that promises to bring the Chris Mack-Dino Gaudio outburst back to the forefront, cause more national embarrassment and potentially who knows what other revelations.

In a lawsuit filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court, former UofL assistant general counsel and associate athletic director Amy Shoemaker claims she was demoted and kicked out in 2021 by the UofL president from then-Neeli Bendapudi after informing police of an extortion attempt on Mack by Gaudio, then an assistant basketball coach, on March 17, 2021.

Shoemaker left college earlier this year and is now general counsel at the University of Miami in Ohio.

In her lawsuit, Shoemaker alleges that Bendapudi and the school retaliated against her when she alerted campus police to what she believed to be illegal actions by Guadio, who later pleaded guilty to a federal charge of attempted extortion and was sentenced to one year probation and $10,000. well last August.

Shoemaker claims Bendepudi’s anger led to her being “frozen”, relieved of some of her responsibilities and subject to a pay cut. Shoemaker was hired at the UofL in 2006 as Deputy General Counsel and was promoted to Deputy General Counsel and Associate AD in 2018.

Shoemaker’s complaint says she was reprimanded by Bendapudi for reporting the extortion attempt to law enforcement and quotes the former president telling her, “Amy! You can’t trust the FBI! while describing the agency as “cunning”. Shoemaker said Bendapudi “expressed frustration and anger” that police had been contacted and expressed concern about the negative publicity.

Shoemaker said Wade Smith, Bendapudi’s chief of staff, told him she had exceeded his authority and that decisions on reportable crimes were the responsibility of the president.

Bendapudi, now president of Penn State University, released a statement through the school, but she did not directly address the specific allegations in the lawsuit.

“My commitment to ethical conduct and treating people the right way has been unwavering throughout my career,” Bendapudi said. “The teams I have built in several institutions reflect these core values. I have and will continue to lead with integrity and have complete confidence in Dr. Michael Wade Smith, who also emulates these directors.

According to Shoemaker’s complaint, Mack informed Josh Heird, who was then an AD partner but has since been named to the top spot permanently, of his intention not to renew either Gaudio’s or Luke Murray’s contract. Heird went to Shoemaker for advice on this process, being told that Mack needed to have another UofL employee present for the conversation.

Instead, Mack held the meeting with Gaudio alone. He became combative, and Gaudio threatened to blow up alleged NCAA violations within the program if he was not paid the equivalent of 18 months’ salary. Mack secretly recorded the conversation and a subsequent voicemail from Gaudio saying he would be back the next day to put the deal in writing.

Mack then reported what had happened to Heird and Shoemaker, who later that day met Vince Tyra, then Chief Compliance Officer, and John Carns, and all listened to the recording. According to the lawsuit, Shoemaker felt it was her duty to report Gaudio’s threats to campus police, to whom she provided copies of Mack’s tapes.

“Amy Shoemaker knew immediately when Chris Mack came to her with the tape that what Dino Gaudio had done was illegal, that she had to report it,” Shoemaker’s attorney Hal Poppe said. Poppe added that his decision to sue UofL was difficult, but they had tried unsuccessfully to resolve the case without litigation.

“They weren’t willing to do anything that would amount to an appreciation of the significance of what happened here,” Poppe said. “We contacted the university and they continued to want further information and we provided them with what they wanted. They came back with what can only be described as a nominal response which was insulting to say the least. was so small it was laughable.

But it’s obviously no laughing matter and now the UofL could face another round of what Bendapudi accurately described as ‘negative publicity’.


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