The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team are at the center of allegations that a former director of basketball operations paid an escort service to provide sex for Cardinals recruits. The allegations come from a soon-to-be released book entitled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.”
The allegations were first reported by the Indianapolis Business Journal and their sister company, IBJ Book Publishing LLC, is releasing the book very soon. The book is based on hundreds of journal entries and thousands of text messages kept by the head of escort service in question. The book plans to name players involved in these allegations. Former Indianapolis Star investigative reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Dick Cady was hired by IBJ Book Publishing to assist in writing the forthcoming book.
The allegations center around former Louisville director of basketball operations Andre McGee. The escort in question claimed McGee repeatedly hired her to provide strippers and prostitutes during the campus visits of highly sought high school basketball players as well as then-current Louisville players. ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting that the NCAA talked to LSU freshman and ex-Louisville commit Antonio Blakeney about his experiences on a recruiting visit. According to the escort, she provided entertainment for 22 parties from 2010 to 2014. McGee left Louisville in 2014 for an assistant coaching job at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
The Cardinals have launched an internal investigation into the allegations. Louisville said they first learned about the allegations when the Indianapolis Business Journal contacted them in late August.
“To say I'm disheartened, disappointed would be the biggest understatement I've made as a coach,” head coach Rick Pitino said of the allegations during a Friday news conference.
“The University, on its own initiative, notified the NCAA Enforcement Staff regarding the matter and has been in regular communication with them,” the university said in a statement earlier today. “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.”
The University of Louisville could face stiff NCAA sanctions if the allegations prove to be true, and could potentially be stripped of their Final Four appearances and recent National Championship victory.