New developments have come out from the ongoing investigation into allegations that a former Louisville Cardinals director of basketball operations paid an escort service to provide sex for recruits. Some of the reports conflict and share different accounts of the alleged events.
The book Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen is the source of the allegations. In the book, Katina Powell claims she was hired repeatedly by former Louisville director of basketball operations Andre McGee to provider strippers and prostitutes during the campus visits of highly sought high school recruits, including her own (at the time) under aged daughters. Powell reveals the names of prominent U-of-L players and potential prospects who participated in parties where Powell provided prostitutes and strippers from 2010 to 2014.
The allegations have launched an NCAA inquiry into potential recruiting violations. According to CBS Sports’ Gary Parrish, Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle, who was being recruited by Louisville and named in the book, spoke to an NCAA investigator about his recruiting visit to Louisville in June 2013. Lyle confirmed the “gist of the allegations” involving the paid escorts during his recruiting trip when he spoke with an NCAA investigator. LSU freshman Antonio Blakeney was also named in the book after being interviewed.
Neither Powell nor McGee have made any public comments since the release of the book.
McGee left Louisville in 2014 to take an assistant coaching job at UMKC. McGee was placed on administrative leave by UMKC last week, where he is now an assistant coach. McGee has retained Scott C. Cox as his attorney. Cox is a noted criminal defense attorney in Louisville and has been responding to the allegations on behalf of his client McGee.
Cox responded on Thursday to Lyle’s confirmation of the claims made by Powell in her book.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino continues his claims he wasn’t involved.
“First of all, players have come to play for me, and — the only comment that I've made is that I know nothing about any of this,” Pitino said in an interview on Thursday. “So I don't know what resigning would accomplish. I think that's the cowardly way out, if I resign now.”
Interestingly, Pitino has claimed he had no knowledge of the situation, but has not denied allegations in any of his recent statements to the media.
However, ESPN is reporting that strippers did visit, but only “dancing” transpired according to a former Cardinals’ players. This report conflicts with Lyle’s version of events given to CBS Sports.
Follow obsev.com/sports for all of the latest developments on the Louisville scandal.