Rick Pitino is under the most severe threat to his celebrated tenure at the University of Louisville after former players and top recruits said his staff paid strippers and escorts as recruiting devices to convince them to attend the basketball-rich school.
A former escort spoke exclusively to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” about how she helped coordinate stripper and escort parties inside the dormitories at U of L in order to convince blue-chip high school talents and prep All-Americans to choose Cardinal nation over other suitor schools.
Five former Louisville players and recruits confirmed allegations that a former member of the basketball staff paid for escorts to dance at parties they attended, ESPN reports, and one former player said he had sex with a dancer after the staff member paid her.
The lid was blown off the program after a former escort, Katina Powell, wrote the barnstorming book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen. Powell details in her memoir that she was paid $10,000, per party, by former Louisville director of basketball operations Andre McGee to provide escorts to dance and have sex with recruits and players between 2010 and 2014. She said she organized at least two dozen of such parties during this time period.
Where McGee (and others who paid for these parties) got the money is still a mystery and under investigation by the NCAA.
Pitino, long a Hall of Fame-caliber and controversial coach, denies vehemently that he had any knowledge that such activities were popping off under his watch. But already many pundits and fans predict that his Titanic-sized image and program has hit the iceberg and will eventually sink to the depths of ignominy.
Fans are also weighing in on the growing scandal, albeit in the most hilarious and witty ways via social media. Take a look at the funniest Rick Pitino memes and tweets about “hookers for hoops.”
Rick Pitino has to be pissed he wasn’t invited to these parties
— Fake SportsCenter (@FakeSportsCentr) October 20, 2015
Rick Pitino is like hey listen you better score or no call Girl tonight home boy. pic.twitter.com/dRM2lwuk8d — REDLEAF (@dellakwal) October 20, 2015
So it looks as if Rick Pitino and his players are the real Papa Johns #Louisville
— Steven Shaw ℹ (@czechov) October 20, 2015
The “I have an official visit from Rick Pitino to Louisville” starter pack @BeauregardJones pic.twitter.com/fWMQvYahqZ — Mikey Mike (@memphismike71) October 20, 2015
i feel like Rick Pitino admitting to sex is not as hard as admitting to sex with Rick Pitino’s crazy lookin bugged out demon skeletor ass
— MAX D (@FutureTiming) October 20, 2015