Louisville, KY. The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions announced Thursday that Louisville Cardinals Coach Rick Pitino will be suspended for the first five Atlantic Coast Conference games in 2017-18 season.
ESPN reported that the NCAA Committee ruled that the Hall of Fame coach “violated NCAA head coach responsibility rules” by failing to monitor the activities of his former assistant, Andre McGee, who is alleged to have hired strippers to entertain players and recruits in previous years.
When discussing the head coach’s suspension, the committee stated, “Without dispute, NCAA rules do not allow institutional staff members to arrange for stripteases and sex acts for prospects, enrolled student-athletes and/or those who accompany them to campus.”
The University of Louisville did announce that they will appeal the Committee’s decision.
In addition to Pitino’s five-game suspension, Louisville may have to forfeit the 2012-13 National Championship. That NCAA run by the Cardinals occurred during the same time as the alleged events. This ruling is pending further investigation by the NCAA, which requested Louisville provide evidence within 45 days.
The investigation sparked when, in 2015, Katina Powell published her book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.” Powell describes herself as a “former escort.” She claims that former assistant coach Andre McGee paid her $10,000 for 22 shows at the Cardinals’ dormitory from 2010 to 2014. Both Powell and McGee were put before a grand jury in Jefferson County, but Kentucky declined to return an indictment because of the lack of sufficient credible evidence.
McGee received a 10-year show cause penalty. The Committee stated that McGee, “acted unethically when he committed serious violations by arranging striptease dances and sex acts for prospects, student-athletes and others, and did not cooperate with the investigation.”
ESPN has full details concerning the ruling including background to the investigation and continued coverage of Louisville’s Appeal.