ESPN’s Outside the Lines published a mammoth report this morning detailing allegations that the University of Louisville threw stripper parties for basketball players and recruits between 2010 and 2014.
Five former players and recruits told ESPN that they attended these parties at a campus dorm, and one of them said that he had sex with one of the strippers after a graduate assistant named Andre McGee paid her.
According to a self-described former escort named Katina Powell, Powell was approached by McGee to help organise these parties, and over the four year period that the parties happened McGee paid her $US10,000. Powell also told ESPN that the dancers were paid extra for “side deals” in which they had sex with recruits and players.
Powell shared her phone and text message records, bank statements, and meticulously kept journals from the time with Outside the Lines, and the allegations are shocking.
Here are some of the most damning allegations:
- McGee provided players and recruits with stacks of one-dollar bills to tip the strippers.
- From OTL: “One of the other former players, who said he attended the parties as a recruit and player, said McGee “would give us the money, just the recruits. A bunch of us were sitting there while they danced. Then the players left, and the recruits chose which one [of the dancers] they wanted.”
- Powell estimated that of the two dozen girls that danced for Louisville recruits, only five or six didn’t also have sex with them afterwards.
- Powell’s two daughters were among the dancers who slept with players. Lindsay Powell told Outside the Lines that she was paid $US100 by McGee to have sex with one star guard.
- Powell’s other daughter, Rod Ni, allegedly received the same amount to have sex with another player.
- Powell told ESPN that several top Louisville recruits had sex with dancers during their recruiting visits.
- McGee continued to pay Powell to organise parties after he left Louisville for a job as a graduate assistant at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
- Powell said she believed head coach Rick Pitino knew about the parties. From OTL: “Powell said she asked McGee whether Pitino knew about the parties: ‘I said, ‘Does Pitino know about this?’ And he said, ‘He’s Rick. He knows about everything.'”
Both McGee and Pitino declined to comment on Outside the Lines’ story, but Pitino’s son, Richard Pitino, who is the head basketball coach at the University of Minnesota, told ESPN, “I can say 100 per cent sure, with zero doubt, that (Rick Pitino) knew nothing about any of these alleged incidents.”
In light of the allegations, many are wondering if Pitino can survive this and keep his job at the helm of the Louisville basketball program.
Elite coaches R paid like CEOs.If this was a Fortune500 company would the CEO be held responsible?What would the repercussions B on the CEO?
— Seth Greenberg (@SethOnHoops) October 20, 2015
Both Louisville and the NCAA are independently investigating the allegations. When reached by Business Insider, the University of Louisville said they are withholding comment until they have finished their internal review.
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