There are a multitude of aggravating circumstances as to why Chris Mack is no longer the head coach of the Louisville men's basketball program.
A personality that didn't fit, a perceived lack of player development during his tenure, recruiting that didn't meet the Cardinals' standards, COVID pauses, and of course, the additional NCAA allegations that arose from former assistant Dino Gaudio's extortion attempt.
But something that seems to have also played a factor as to why Mack and the university mutually agreed to part ways earlier this week, and the team's overall disconnect towards the end of his tenure, was the suspension he served to start the season.
Last August, the university suspended Mack for the first six games of the year, stemming from his handling of the extortion attempt by Gaudio. While the university concluded that Mack was indeed a victim, he "failed to follow University guidelines, policies, and procedures in handling the matter".
Not only was Mack not allowed to be on the sidelines for those first six games, he was not allowed to have contact of any sort to anyone within the program for a 19-day span.
The program did as much as they could in the preseason to prepare for Mack's temporary ostracizing, but it had a much more profound impact on them than they anticipated.
"I think that changed everything," forward/center and co-captain Malik Williams said. "We went through the summer listening to (Mack), then we had to go through the toughest time throughout the beginning of our year. The time that we had together when we finally started playing games, he had to be voiceless."
Louisville struggled over their first four games.