Rick Pitino may not survive latest claims regarding strippers, recruits

Louisville coach Rick Pitino isn't commenting on allegations of recruits being entertained by strippers paid for by a former assistant. (AP photo)

Louisville coach Rick Pitino isn’t commenting on allegations of recruits being entertained by strippers paid for by a former assistant. (AP photo)

UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR LINK to the full column on MyAJC.com.

Rick Pitino is in trouble. And he shouldn’t be the only one concerned about his employment at Louisville.

Katina Powell, a (pick one) stripper/escort/independent contractor who wrote a book on being hired by a former Louisville basketball staffer to strip and/or have sex with recruits and players, has done interviews with “Good Morning America” and various ESPN/ABC platforms, expanding on details or her claims. ESPN’s show, “Outside The Lines,” also reported that five Louisville players told the network that they attended parties on  a campus dorm from 2010 to 2014 that included strippers. One player said he had sex with a stripper after the arrangement was paid  for by Pitino’s former graduate assistant, Andre McGee.

The tell-all book by "escort queen" Katina Powell.

The tell-all book by “escort queen” Katina Powell.

One of the recruits told ESPN: “I knew they weren’t college girls. It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club.”

These developments significantly advance the original story of Powell’s book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” which was published this month.

Reactions are typically all over the board on social media, with some believing Pitino can’t survive this, even if there is no proof that the long-time college and NBA coach was involved or knew about this.

Former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg Tweeted:

Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Tim Sullivan Tweeted this:

And this (amusingly):

Some initial thoughts:

• The story obviously is true. It’s one thing to doubt the word of a stripper who’s trying to sell a book. But for five recruits to support those claims, even if they’re not publicly disclosing their identities, adds a strong level of credibility to the tales.

• I find it extremely difficult to believe that somebody as powerful as Pitino wasn’t aware this was going on in his own program. And even if you subscribe to the, “He didn’t know” narrative, that’s an indictment in itself.

• It’s important to understand that McGee — who’s now an assistant coach at Missouri-Kansas City but hasn’t commented and has been put on administrative leave — didn’t have the financial resources to pay for the parties and strippers, and that the majority of these claims involve recruits, not players. So somebody had to provide access to both funds and facilities  (dorms). The most likely scenario is that was McGee’s superior (Pitino) or somebody else high up in the basketball program or athletic department.

Bottom line: Somebody has to lose a job. I don’t see how Pitino survives this. But in the world of high-revenue producing college athletic programs — which Louisville basketball certainly is — I guess stranger things have happened.

I’ll have more on this later.

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Reader Comments 0

97 comments
Jabba
Jabba

BTW - U of L is a public institution and Kentucky has so-called "sunshine" or open record laws so athletic program records including expenditures and itineraries and employment may be available for review.  So it may be hard for U of L to hide the truth on this one if they are so inclined.

Jabba
Jabba

IMHO, the "I don't know" defense by RP is ridiculous here.  Everything recruits do on and off campus has to be documented and approved, itineraries and expenditures have to be reviewed and approved as well.  There is an enormous amount of oversight here.  Head coaches have an enormous interest in these recruiting visits and so does compliance and an enormous interest in making sure they go right.  To say "I don't know" is just absolutely ridiculous IMHO and is seems far beyond the realm of possibility to me especially for a guy that is known to be very controlling, but this is just my opinion and we will see what happens.

The Dogfather
The Dogfather

Louisville Basketball has strippers and football has Petrino....................

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

He's a slime ball.  


Kinda reminds me of Rush Propst down at Colquitt Co.  Will do anything to win, no morals, cheat on his wife and kids, etc.

DGAD
DGAD

And he shouldn't survive. If he knew and didn't say anything, he is a horrible human being. If he just didn't know, he is a horrible head coach.

ownerccc
ownerccc

The entire state of kentucky stinks to hi heaven, including the hoops teams in Lexington and Louisville. You can't say with a straight face that Pitino and Calapari are clean.

AdmiralObvious53
AdmiralObvious53

Louisville is an ethically challenged university thus I don't foresee the AD getting rid of Pucktino unless he's forced to by the State of Kentucky

Big Wally
Big Wally

Schultz, in the future please refrain from printing Oh:io's family member's names in these articles.  

Big Wally
Big Wally

Loose lips sink ships..  On second thought, maybe that is poor choice of words.

Cupofjoe
Cupofjoe

This is rather anti capitalist as said strippers and hookers must migrate to Lexington which will cause a surplus for Kentucky recruits-  sorry no way Kentucky does the same, correct?

SOOTHSAYER01
SOOTHSAYER01

@Cupofjoe Every school does something extra, but I don't think they are all hiring prostitutes for recruits.  

BillVol
BillVol

Ironic that Spurrier and Pitino could go out at the same time.  Once scourges of the SEC.  Arrived in the league at about the same time.  Both changed their respective sports.  Both pricks.  Except Spurrier was not a cheater.  

PJ25
PJ25

Just think what the universities and their underground boosters do to lure those 4 and 5 star football players with huge egos.  Knock Pitino all you want, but one day some hot shot CFB recruit(s) or former player(s) is going to out an entire program and hopefully it won't be your team or mine.

GT71
GT71

Again: Those who can, do.  Those who can't, write about those who can and do.  Badly.

ZanesMule
ZanesMule

no worries---rick and the AD will deny knowing anything, and blame everything on the asst coach----he keeps his job and all those millions!!! party on !!!!

DrPhill
DrPhill

Interesting comparison of Petino to a CEO of a corporation. While some athletic departments resemble and act like corporations, they are supposed to be a part of an academic institution. Jeff points out the problem with money. Deep Throat's alleged comment "follow the money" has gotten so many big shots in trouble, including the current football coach at Louisville. Secondly, there is no way to set up a strip club and brothel in a university facility without a whole bunch of people knowing about it, including the dorm monitors, student affairs (nuck, nuck) and campus police. Did the University administrators, including the President, have their collective heads in the sand for four years, or did they just wink? I hope that this problem not only gets Petino, but takes down some useless, ovepaid Vice Presidents with him.

UnbiasedObserver
UnbiasedObserver

Sleaze ball.


He reminds me of the guy at Colquitt County. 


Infidelity. Adultery. Sex. Lies. Ego.

Peachs
Peachs

And people go after Spurrier, in Mark Bradley's case this stuff is going on in his home state, what was he looking at that made him so nasty to Spurrier and other good coaches and ignore this reality that half the country knew was going on.  Penn State is another deal like this.  They save their ink for personal vendettas or to protect over hyped coaches while this is going on right under their noses.   A huge reason sport is a bunch of thugs is the media is living off of these thugs. 

GT71
GT71

@Peachs It's what they are paid to do by the AJC.  Most local-yokel papers have columnists like these guys.  Always trying to chop down the big trees so a little light can shine on them - the little weeds in the forest.

Thenumber34
Thenumber34

Just another greasy I-talian mobster wanna be

Gov-waste
Gov-waste

I would pull a Bill Clinton "I did not have sexual relations with that women", people still believe and trust Uncle Billy.


Ricky better pull out that white suit that has teflon on it.

SOOTHSAYER01
SOOTHSAYER01

@youlibtards People don't trust Uncle Billy.  They just don't hold it against him because...well, can you blame him for cheating on Hillary.  

partlycloudy
partlycloudy

He's always been a great coach but he often gets distracted by sex.  Too much sex for him and not enough time spent coaching now.  Next, like Tiger Woods, he'll claim to be a "sex addict."  Duh!

ZippyMorocco
ZippyMorocco

The Cam Newton defense (I didn't know) has been successful in the past.

buellerbuellerbueller
buellerbuellerbueller

Petrino is bad for college sports, but ESPN will keep him alive, which is good for ratings.

AceDawg
AceDawg

Petrino must be pissed. He rises to #1 d-bag on campus and loses his Friday night dating service. Guess he's gonna have to get back on the ole motorcycle to get chicks.

Iluvmoose
Iluvmoose

All these questions about Pitino "surviving" this are stupid. The Athletic Department at UL already showed us that as long as your coach can win we don't care about your moral character or what goes on behind closed (restaurant) doors. They have hired and kept 2 coaches that have been the subject of 2 of the most publicized sexual encounters in the last 10 yrs and UL embraces them and the fans don't care. There is no way Jurich has the ca hones to let Pitino go if he thinks he still has another run at a championship in him. 

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

Pitino will use the Hillary Clinton defence, " I never knew anything about that and I don't remember " works for her and Bill

Infraredguy
Infraredguy

@Like-It-Is Wrong, it has a lot to do with Politics, the Politics of a major University and a big revenue source for the program

RogerBurke
RogerBurke

Heck of way to compete with kentucky

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

It's Kentucky.  Pitino could pull a Sandusky, and those hillbillies wouldn't care as long as he's winning.

km42
km42

@The_Real_KJ  No, its Louisville, not that you would know the difference.

The Truth
The Truth

Rick jay Jacobs is on line one. Oh wait they hired the other other guy who broke the rules. So surprising.

illmatic1
illmatic1

It's college. Who cares. F*#k the NCAA

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Jim Valvano lost his job for less.  It will be interesting to see where this leads.