ESPN Louisville’s Jason Anderson had a discussion with Katina Powell’s attorney on Tuesday and we learned a great deal about the mentality of how Larry Wilder plans to defend the interests of Ms. Powell. Here are a few of the interactions that sparked interest in our ears:
First, Jason asks Wilder how it came to be that he would represent Katina.
Wilder goes on to explain that Ms. Powell was interested in someone who can handle ‘myriad of things.’ Wilder went on to explain that Katina attempted to contact the NCAA AFTER she had two meetings with Louisville-based attorneys who were uninterested in representing her. Wilder goes on to claim that the NCAA had no interest in understanding or pursuing investigating Katina Powell’s information that she was willing to provide at that time.
It was after those two attempts that Wilder claims that Powell Googled: “Indiana Publishers” and it was at that time that Powell found the “Indianapolis Business Journal”. Larry goes on to explain that now that a book has been published that “to sell as many copies as she can”. Wilder says that “when no one would listen to her she ended up publishing a book”.
My Thoughts: Katina has said several times that the motivation here was money. In talking with employees at the NCAA and at UofL we’ve learned that to answer the phone at the NCAA requires extensive training (4 months minimum) and no one would hang up on her. Here at TCZ we’ve learned that the folks outside the investigative arm of the NCAA are quite upset at Powell’s claim.
Also not surprised that two different Louisville attorneys did not want to take her case on at face value. The “Indianapolis Business Journal” does appear on the 1st page of search results for the term “Indiana Publishers”.
Jason asks why the media outlets that Katina Powell interviewed with were chosen
Wilder says, “Ms. Powell clearly was never going to be given a ‘fair shake’ by anyone in the Louisville media market……the only media outlet that was going to have the resources and fortitude was going to be someone in Connecticut, not St. Matthews.”
Larry then goes on and challenges the media in Louisville to pose the tough questions that Katina Powell is facing to UofL, Andre McGee, and everyone involved. Wilder iterates that would be more productive than vilifying and demonizing Katina Powell, by attacking her morality.
At this point Jason Anderson then defends himself, the Courier-Journal, TV Stations (particularly WDRB) and states that he and these other outlets would love to talk with Rick Pitino & Andre McGee but notes that they are unavailable with their legal counsel and took issue with the fact that because the media can’t obtain these interviews doesn’t mean that they don’t want to.
My Thoughts: Jason’s point here was a good one….but I do think it detracts entirely from the mindset of Larry Wilder. It seems as if Katina Powell is ever brought to trial, Wilder will do whatever he can to get that trial moved out of the Louisville Media Market. If you’ll notice, Wilder doesn’t specifically say “Louisville Media” but he does say “Louisville Media Market’ and “Getting a Fair Shake”. If Katina Powell ever goes before a jury of her ‘peers’ Wilder it seems will do whatever he can to do so outside of Jefferson County.
Jason Asks Whether Other Media Organizations Can See the Records & Ledgers the Same Way ESPN, The View, the Publishing Company
Wilder then goes into the ‘lawyering side’ and states that if the Commonwealth’s & U.S. Attorney would grant immunity that would make a big difference between how the information was shared between the media AND the government.
Wilder then goes on to explain that there is no statute of limitations for felonies in Kentucky and notes that the book was written before Ms. Powell had secured counsel and as Wilder says, “When the Book was written the book was written and the information was provided in the book. After Ms. Powell had legal counsel it became clear to us we don’t want to continue on in this very open manner with her documentation without securing assurances that she would be free from being prosecuted.”
Wilder goes on to lament that with all of the crimes and allegations we aren’t hearing anything regarding what criminal case Andre McGee might be facing and says that “they” (meaning the media) want to make Ms. Powell the “scapegoat” in a criminal prosecution when Andre McGee played a huge role in the alleged events…..Larry then goes on to throw in “This lady from the West End of Louisville is going to made the scapegoat for all of this and those folks who have connections with the ability to contact people in high places of great power and people in the Louisville athletic structure. If we had our protection much like it sounds like Mr. McGee has then certainly cooperation would not be a difficult task”.
My Thoughts: This part of the conversation is critical. Katina Powell isn’t getting immunity. Larry Wilder knows that will not be given to him by the Commonwealth or the U.S. Attorney’s Office. No prosecutor in their right mind is going to let Promoting Prostitution OR Prostitution with MINORS go unpunished so that Katina Powell can talk to the NCAA or UofL.
Don’t forget that while Katina Powell may have entered her minor daughters into prostitution and promoted their activities….she may have also PROVIDED prostitutes to MINORS if 16-17 year old recruits did in fact have sex with anyone she brought with her to any of these events. Allegedly.
As for Andre McGee. He’s not clear from this. The reason why people aren’t talking about Andre McGee right now is because he is not driving the narrative. Katina Powell, Dick Cady, Larry Wilder, and IBJ are driving the narrative. UofL, Andre McGee, and the NCAA are following process. The Commonwealth & U.S. Attorney’s office does not concern itself with the NCAA, but rather whether or not a crime was committed. They are investigating and like UofL understands that this case will not be tried or decided in the media. So Larry Wilder’s characterization that he perceives Andre McGee’s immunity over his client ‘from the West End’ is just mis-directing the question….and he knows that.
It’s also clear that despite the Indiana Business Journal did not have Katina Powell’s best interests at heart. Mickey Maurer may have an entire law school named after him, but not providing her with an attorney or at the very least advising her to seek legal counsel prior to the publishing of “Breaking Cardinal Rules” is quite interesting. Especially when you consider that IBJ created a separate LLC for this book specifically.
Jason then asks if the concern about sharing of information would create manipulation of reporting
Larry Wilder then says that he is a “University of Louisville” law school graduate and then goes on to say that ESPN is a multi-billion dollar corporation not affected by advertising revenues or rights to broadcast….and then goes on to list the credentials of John Barr. Wilder then clarifies that Katina Powell did not receive compensation for any of her interviews.
My Thoughts: I would agree that giving these materials to a Louisville website, such as this one or similar would be not in the best interest of Katina Powell. But I do reject the assertion that the Courier-Journal, Television Outlets (like WDRB with Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford), even Yahoo!’s Pat Forde (who lives in town) would be biased. The Courier-Journal has at least once with the reporting of Pat Forde landed Louisville on probation and another time brought forth investigations that led to a suspension of Forde. Bozich & Crawford, for example have more than exhibited a desire for transparency in their reporting.
Jason then asks about Andre McGee’s resignation where he claims “False Accusations”
Wilder then explains that McGee garnered immunity from the NCAA by resigning. The NCAA now has no ‘venue’ over him and Wilder characterized it as the 2nd best thing to the Fifth Amendment, which he is now doing as he is making no commentary about the events and by resigning.
Larry then says that if no one believes this story they would have to determine that the ESPN OTL piece was a blatant lie and that the anonymous players & recruits accounts was made up to be detrimental to the UofL Basketball program.
My Thoughts: It’s true. Andre McGee did recuse himself from any forced testimony with the NCAA. But he’s still looking at a ‘show cause’ verdict with or without his account. The NCAA can still prohibit from coaching for a period of their choosing at any member school and the damage to his reputation as a ‘rule follower’ has forever been shattered.
Andre McGee’s attorney Scott Cox is doing his client a service by not allowing Andre to make any comment on the events. Remember, Andre is facing FELONIES if the allegations that took place are true and can be proven. The NCAA is the least of his worries (and Katina Powell’s). So Scott Cox is allowing Katina Powell and her team to say as much as possible before saying anything at all. Powell is trying to balance “Selling Books” & “Staying Out Jail”. Andre McGee doesn’t have the burden of book sales and is just trying to stay out of jail.
This investigation and outcome is going to take a protracted amount of time. Andre McGee is not going to be able to return the coaching during the investigation (even if a positive outcome for him is eventually reached) and UMKC needs a coach to help Kareem Richardson in the 2015-16 season. Not to mention the fact that UMKC’s budget probably doesn’t have much wiggle for a paid coach on leave for a long period of time.
Lastly, something happened here. The extent at which the NCAA, U.S. and Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office will be able to PROVE what happened is another story. With Powell and McGee both lawyering up the burden of proof is relatively high with existing records and documentation.
Jason asks whether Katina Powell Will Meet with the NCAA
Larry Wilder then reiterates that if Katina Powell is granted with immunity from “those agencies who have the ability to prosecute her and attempt to take her freedom” (Commonwealth’s Attorney, US Attorney, IRS). Wilder then tells Jason that she is ‘not unwilling’ to meet with the university or the NCAA and provide them with ‘carte blanche’ information but says that she can not do that unless she has assurances that there will not be a pursuit of criminal charges against her based on the information (she provides).
My Thoughts: Again, Katina Powell is not getting immunity from the state, the district attorney, or the IRS so that the NCAA can interview a subject for its investigation. That’s just never going to happen. Larry Wilder knows this.
Jason asks the difference between meeting with the NCAA & Outside the Lines
Wilder then explains that journalists are immune from being forced to reveal any information that they acquire during their pursuit of legitimate journalism. Wilder then explains that the NCAA would be subject to subpoena by the government to try and acquire the information.
My Thoughts: I know this is a subject that Keith Poynter aka @VilleSportsLaw takes issue with and will explain further later today.
Jason asks “Your advice is without immunity from anyone who would seek prosecution against Katina Powell that she will not meet with the NCAA?”
Larry Wilder’s exact response: “At this juncture that would be our position, merely because there seems to be this flourish or desire to ‘burn her at the stake’ in Jefferson County, Kentucky. So without the assurance that is not going to occur, we believe that’s the position we have to take.”
My Thoughts: Again, it sounds exactly like Larry is already mounting a delay in proceedings by setting the framework for any legal proceeding to be moved outside of Louisville. It’s also very clear that she will not be granted immunity (neither will Andre McGee by the way) and thus neither one of them are likely to ever speak with the NCAA or investigators.
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