Louisville recruiting tactics allegedly taken to whole new level

  • Rick Pitino: ‘Not one person knew’ about alleged use of escorts for recruits

    Dana O’Neil, ESPN Senior Writer

    Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, despite an author’s claim otherwise, again denied any knowledge Monday that former director of basketball operations Andre McGee allegedly paid an escort service to provide sex for recruits.

    “Not myself, not one player, not one trainer, not one assistant, not one person knew anything about any of this,” the Hall of Fame coach told ESPN on Monday. “If anyone did, it would have been stopped on a dime. Not one person knew anything about it.”

    Katina Powell, who wrote the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” told IBJ.com on Saturday that McGee implied that Pitino “knows about everything.”

    “When I would ask Andre, ‘Does Pitino know about this?’ he would laugh and say, ‘Rick knows about everything,’” Powell told IBJ.com, which is a subsidiary of the company that published the book.

    Pitino added that the university, in conjunction with attorney Chuck Smrt, is in the process of interviewing former players and staff members and has been in contact with the NCAA.

    "The university, as well as the NCAA and our attorney, is doing its due diligence to get to the bottom of this investigation,’’ Pitino said.

    Powell told IBJ.com that McGee resorted to hiring the escorts because he felt pressure to help secure recruits to Louisville.

    "I think Andre’s back was against the wall,’’ she said. "I think he had a lot of pressure on him. I think he did whatever he had to do to make the University of Louisville a great team. He found something that worked and went with it.’’

    Under the current NCAA rule structure, head coaches can be held accountable for what goes on with their programs, whether they are directly implicated or not.

    Hall of Fame coaches Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Larry Brown of SMU each will serve multiple-game suspensions under the penalties of that rule. However, NCAA vice president of enforcement Jon Duncan told ESPN.com that the rule is not one of strict liability.

    “It’s a rebuttable presumption,” Duncan said Monday. “If there is a violation, it’s presumed that he is responsible, but that can be rebutted in one of two ways – that he created an atmosphere of compliance, and two, that he monitored his direct and indirect reports.”

    Duncan, while unable to speak to the specifics of the Louisville case, spoke more broadly about the challenges the NCAA may face while investigating. A written document – whether it be a published book, news article or message board – is not taken at face value by the NCAA. Rather, it’s a starting point that needs to be verified by NCAA investigators.

    But what often happens, he said, is a public record which includes people’s names makes it more difficult to conduct the separate NCAA investigation.

    “The reality is, once the information is in the public, info in public, either individuals are reluctant to talk to us, or we see individuals comparing notes or stories and the integrity of the investigation is compromised,” Duncan said.

    The NCAA can compel only people affiliated with member institutions – staff members, coaches or current or prospective student-athletes – to speak. If they do not, they can be penalized for failure to cooperate. Third parties – like Powell and even players who have used up all of their eligibility – can choose to never speak to investigators.

    NCAA investigators also must decide if a person is credible and determine what level of collaboration allows them to feel comfortable that a violation occurred.

    “Backing up from the legalese, these cases are a big deal,” Duncan said. “They have real implications for the institutions and the individuals involved and the student-athletes. We are very careful when we analyze any potential allegation that we can support it fully.”[link text](link url)

  • @VailHawk

    Here is what makes this suspect to an old veteran of the post pill and pre AIDS era of the last century.

    No one associated with football or basketball teams ever had to do anything to get a football or basketball recruit laid but throw a kegger at Jayhawker Towers and shout “Party!”

    If you tapped it, they would come.

    And no one slept alone unless they wanted to.

    Seriously, the problem coaches and recruiters face with 18-23 year old persons in a college town is how to keep heterosexual recruits and college women apart.

    Call girls?

    Have college women grown sexless, or something?

    Does an OAD really need call girls to connect when an entire generation is using Software to have casual sex in any new location they walk into?

    This sounds like a smear invented by some guy that graduated in the first or second year of Camp Destabilization back before smart phones and was hired to merk Rick to create an opening for a .600 coach and a dump truck.

    But what do I know?

    Maybe prostitution is a profit center in the whole commercial matrix of college sport.


    Say it ain’t for tricks, Rick.

    Say it ain’t.

    I been believing ’ in ya lately Rick.

    Believin’ ya broke the silence on Big Shoe and Big Agent.

    Is this the blowback?

  • “Not myself, not one player, not one trainer, not one assistant, not one person knew anything about any of this,”

    😉 😉 😉 😉 😉

  • Wonder if this type of recruiting is the reason the super women’s Volleyball team resides in Lawrence?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Hard to say. On one hand, there are probably lots of “interesting” things that happen on these trips.

    On the other, with the needed emphasis on sexual assault on college campuses, maybe you do introduce some “professionalism” into the mix to make sure Star Recruit doesn’t do anything foolish.

    Either way, this news is troubling.

    Yes, colleges have used sex as a recruiting tool in the past, but that’s a terrible idea to basically use the females on campus as merchandise for the purpose of recruiting. That is disrespectful and low brow.

    Turning it over to prostitutes is even worse, particularly because some players may be minors on their visit. Just irresponsible on the part of the university.

  • This happened in the Big 12 in the last ten years with Colorado and Gary Barnett.

    “Probes conducted by the university later revealed that sex and alcohol played a major part in Colorado’s recruiting tactics, with players and coaches going so far as to enlist escort services and strippers to help show players a good time.” Wikipedia.

  • With a subsidiary of the publishing co called—“IBJ.com” (no need to high light BJ in the title) I really have to laugh & recall how Pitino schmoothed other over his marital infidelity, only to admit he shoulda been a better boy…Man what a schmuck to start stone throwing…

  • I’m flabbergasted! The gall of some recruiters to “grease the wheel” (literally) is beyond me! How could they?!

    Just one question: If the recruit gets a coed pregnant… is that considered an “anchor baby” for locking down a commitment from that baby in 18 years?

    Why would prostitutes have to be used when coeds are available and tend to be more flexible? Not that I know anything about this subject…

  • @drgnslayr “flexible coeds” - is that the title of a film you saw recently?

  • @ParisHawk

    Ha… I just googled to see if the film exists. Doesn’t appear to. And the domain name is available.

    Someone ought to jump on that deal!


    UPDATE TO THIS POST: I also did a google image search. If you search “flexible coeds” your results are like 99% porn. If you search “flexible girls” your results are like 99% PG-rated. Even “flexible hookers” gives you fewer porn results than coeds. It seems like the coeds have, by far, the worst reputation (at least, in the porn industry).

  • Could this be the tactic that we DON’T do but UK and Duke DO?

    Our pants are held up by the Bible belt…

  • @justanotherfan

    Well, now we know why so much of the Big Shoe Meat Market Summer Game action is held in Vegas, near where the brothels are legal, I reckon. Holy cat house! Its all fitting together. Big Gaming. Big Shoe. Big Sex.

    What if the guy driving all the stacking turns out to be a a guy named Barry the Pimp?

    Imagine if the NCAA explicitly were to outlaw use of all unlicensed and unregulated sex workers in Division 1 recruiting!

    Bulletin: Amsterdam, Holland, has been picked by Barry the Pimp to replace Las Vegas, Nevada, as the host of summer game meat market games and tournaments!!!

    Yeeeeeee awwwww!!!

    Let me get some gouda for the game, yah!!

    And after the game we can all go skating on the concentric canals and talk about “The Fall” by Albert Camus!

    But wait!!!

    How will Barry the Pimp get his 1976 stretch El Dorado with Debbie Does Bangkok holographic moon roof and the fade harvest gold to maroon paint job and the endangered species quilted upholstery and chinchilla carpeting to fit through those narrow Amsterdam streets?

    If its not one thing, its another.–Rosanne Rosanadanah


  • @drgnslayr

    Who do that pricey voodoo that UK and Duke do so well?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Screaming to the point of projectile vomiting! I’m starting to do a “Mr. Creosote” impression…

    “I couldn’t eat another thing. I’m absolutely stuffed. Bugg’r off!”

    “Just one.”

    “Just one…”

    “Waa laa… bon appetit!”

  • @drgnslayr (puke)

  • @jaybate-1.0 He could use ermine mud flaps equipped with OEM curb feelers…

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Is we talkin’ Barry the Pimp or World Wide Wes?

    Don’t hear that name much anymore.

    Prostitution is not only the oldest profession… but also the widest spread profession in the world!

  • @drgnslayr

    Isn’t it amazing how WWW’s blip on the media radar screen has disappeared!?

    It could cost some serious change to become that invisible that quick.

    The Skunk Works doesn’t do one off stealth suits cheap!

    I often wonder what he might think about this sudden cut back in dump trucks at Rupp!

  • @jaybate-1.0

    Didn’t he invent the internet? WWW?

    When sleaze is this quiet you can bet he’s doing a lot of bad things out there.

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