Louisville Basketball Scandal: Rick Pitino Provides Unprompted Rant


Following a loss to cross-town rival Kentucky for his team's final nonconference game, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino unloaded an exhaustive soliloquy on the escort scandal hanging over the program when prompted by an unrelated question.

As Pitino was leaving the court after the Cardinals lost 75-73 to the Wildcats, he appeared to make a gesture with his hand to the fans at the Rupp Arena. At his postgame press conference, a reporter asked Pitino outright: "did you flip off the UK fans?"

According to WDRB, Pitino responded by saying he "did not" and that it was "really not important."

"What bothers me about you (turning to Rick Bozich) is you say, I know everybody's body fat, you must know about this (events in the dorm)," Pitino said, per WDRB's transcript of the address. "That pisses me off, beyond your wildest dreams. Because that took place in Billy Minardi Hall, and we didn't get one recruit. Somebody criminally came onto our campus. I'm pissed off at ESPN for even giving a forum to that person. If there are crimes - now I didn't read the book, you guys read the book, so I only know what people tell me - but if there are crimes being committed, why is the NCAA or ESPN giving a forum to that person. If there are crimes, now I don't know if there are crimes being committed."

The NCAA is currently investigating the Louisville basketball program for allegations a former staff member hired escorts to have sex with recruits. One of the escorts, Katina Powell, made the allegations in a book released in Oct. and has since spoken publicly, most notably with ESPN's "Outside the Lines," to detail her experiences.

In addition to the NCAA, the University of Louisville and law enforcement are investigating the matter, but former recruits have anonymously confirmed Powell's claims. The NCAA has reportedly interviewed former Louisville recruits as well as Powell herself. Pitino said he has not been interviewed and has maintains he has no knowledge of the scandal.

"The NCAA went through each page of Ms. Powell's five journals," Powell's attorney, Larry Wilder, told ESPN. "There were hundreds and hundreds of pages written about a myriad of events going on in her life during those several years that she was involved with Mr. McGee providing 'entertainment' at the university. It is very clear that the journals weren't created for the singular purpose of impugning the university. There are a litany of players that have confirmed these events took place that we know about. We aren't privy to the other players across the country that have been interviewed and confirmed these events. Unfortunately, tragically, what Ms. Powell said took place at the university took place."

© 2024 University Herald, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Join the Discussion
Real Time Analytics