While driving to Raleigh, NC I received several texts, e-mails, and alerts that a story regarding UofL Basketball was breaking.
Yahoo!’s Pat Forde reported that a book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball & the Escort Queen” is set to publish very soon (if not tomorrow). In the book a Louisville woman named Katina Powell claims that former Louisville Assistant & former player Andre McGee arranged for escorts (including Powell herself) to visit players & recruits for the purposes of dances & sex. Powell also claims much of this activity occurred during the 2012-13 National Championship season, which if true could put the official title in jeopardy.
The Yahoo! report details some of the books final chapter to be published by IBJ Publishing in Indianapolis.
There are many questions related to this, and UofL has apparently been investigating this claim since late August.
Tom Jurich & Rick Pitino are set to meet with the media in Louisville at 5:45 but in the meantime the school has released this statement:
“The University of Louisville first learned of these allegations when the Indianapolis Business Journal contacted the University’s sports information department seeking comment in late August.
The University was shocked to hear of the allegations. The University’s athletics compliance department was immediately notified. Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group was retained to conduct a thorough, objective review of this information. Mr. Smrt is an outside expert who has 34 years of NCAA regulatory experience, including over 17 years with the NCAA enforcement staff.
In coordination with the University’s legal counsel and faculty athletics representative, Mr. Smrt’s review was quickly launched to assess the validity of the information and the potential for any NCAA rules violations. The University, on its own initiative, notified the NCAA Enforcement Staff regarding this matter and has been in regular communication with them.
The University of Louisville will continue its review in full cooperation and coordination with the NCAA and if warranted, take any appropriate action. The allegations have been taken very seriously. In no way would anyone at this institution condone the alleged activities. To preserve the integrity of the review process, the University will withhold comment on any details until the review is concluded.”
Tom Jurich’s comments from his Press Conference stated that Chuck Smrt is ‘quarterbacking’ the investigation. Jurich went on to explain that UofL learned of the allegations in late August from prominent Indiana booster Michael S. Mickey Mauer, who also publishes the Indiana Business Journal (who is publishing the book). Mauer donated $35 Million to Indiana and the University’s Law school is named Indiana University Mauer School of Law.
Jurich would not comment if Indiana is behind the allegations and left many of the details of the investigation to be commented on later to Chuck Smrt.
Tom Jurich also would not comment if anyone attempted to extort the school.
Rick Pitino expressed frustration & sadness regarding to today’s news and said that ‘My heart is out of my body & broken……I’m heartbroken’. Pitino explained that Andre McGee had no pressure in recruiting and his position as Director of Operations was not to recruit, but rather to keep players in line and monitor their behavior/schedule.
Pitino also said that he began to question people related to the story and was immediately shut down. Rick also discussed that he had heard nothing about this situation and when questioning folks about the allegations, no one claimed to have any knowledge of the situation.
Today is the first day of practice for College Basketball and Louisville is also hosting a HUGE recruiting weekend at the school with several high major prospects, including a Red/White Scrimmage set for tomorrow afternoon.
Indiana’s Tom Crean came out and said regarding Indiana involvement: “Any assertion our basketball program had anything to do with the situation at Louisville is flat-out wrong.”
University of Missouri-Kansas City has announced that they have placed Andre McGee on administrative leave.
This story will be updated.