Rick Pitino Is No Longer A Teflon Don

Louisville mens basketball coach Rick Pitino has survived a sex scandal before, but now he is potentially subject to a show-cause order, according to the notice of allegations received from the NCAA by the University of Louisville.

The Hall of Fame coach is facing a major suspension for failing to monitor the actions of former assistant coach Andre McGee.

The school’s athletics director Tom Jurich said that the university will dispute the allegation against Pitino.

Pitino also disputed the allegation earlier today, saying, “I’m not guilty of failing to monitor my staff. I’m guilty of trusting someone.”

He has repeatedly denied any knowledge of the accusations made by former escort Katina Powell, who in her book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” said that McGee paid her and other escorts thousands of dollars and gave them tickets to games in exchange for sex with recruits and players in the players’ dormitory, Minardi Hall.

It’s alleged that McGee paid upwards of $5,400 to the escorts for their sexual services. 

Acting school President Dr. Neville Pinto and Vice President/Director of AthleticsTom Jurich released the following joint statement today:

“As parents and university leaders who care about every student who comes to the University of Louisville, we are heartbroken that inappropriate behavior took place here.  It saddens us tremendously. We promised that if something was done wrong, we would be open about it, acknowledge it, and correct it.

From the beginning, no one wanted to know the truth more than UofL and that’s why we immediately notified the NCAA Enforcement Staff and worked diligently with them to determine what took place. It’s why we retained NCAA consultant Chuck Smrt and outside counsel Steve Thompson to determine the facts.

We are now in receipt of the NCAA’s Notice of Allegations (NOA). This is the next step in a process that will end with our appearance before the Committee on Infractions in the spring of 2017.  We have 90 days to determine our specific position on each allegation and prepare a written response.

From the start, the NCAA Enforcement Staff had our full cooperation.  Its staff and our investigators spoke to numerous Louisville employees and third parties, and the university produced every document requested by the NCAA.  We are disappointed that former Director of Basketball Operations Andre McGee did not cooperate.

These allegations underscore why it was appropriate for the university to self-impose strict penalties on our basketball program earlier this year. 

The NOA aligns with the results of our inquiry: improper activities took place in a dormitory that never should have occurred.  When the facts were established, we acted.  We took appropriate punitive and corrective actions.  The penalties we imposed were among the most severe penalties ever self-imposed by a NCAA member.  

It is important to note what is not being alleged.  The NOA does not contain an allegation that Coach Pitino had knowledge of what took place in the dormitory.  The NCAA does not allege a ‘lack of institutional control’ at Louisville, a very severe allegation.  The NCAA does not allege that there was a ‘failure to monitor’ against the institution, also a severe allegation.  The NCAA does not allege that Coach Pitino failed to ‘promote an atmosphere of compliance’, a serious allegation.  The NOA does contain a narrower allegation which we will dispute – that Coach Pitino failed to demonstrate that he monitored Mr. McGee.    

We believe that Mr. McGee acted furtively and note that the NOA does not indicate that any other university employee besides Mr. McGee had knowledge of these activities. We are confident in Coach Pitino and we know he is and always has been committed to NCAA compliance.  

The entire episode is a deep disappointment to all of us who love this university.  We appreciate the NCAA’s efforts and we regret tremendously that this took place.  Everyone who works here knows it can never happen again.  We will continue to work cooperatively with the NCAA for the final resolution of this matter.”

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