#BBScandal: U of L staffer allegedly paid for prostitutes for players, recruits

By on October 2, 2015
Katina Powell photo courtesy of IBJ Book Publishing LLC

Katina Powell
photo courtesy of IBJ Book Publishing LLC

Andre McGee photo courtesy of UMKC Athletics

By Sam Draut & Olivia Krauth–

U of L is looking into allegations of a former basketball staffer paying for prostitutes for U of L basketball players and recruits.

In an upcoming book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” Katina Powell says she provided women for former staffer Andre McGee over a span of four years. Powell, a Louisville resident, wrote the book with the aid of Indianapolis Star columnist Dick Cady.

The book is set to release as soon as Saturday by an Indianapolis-based IBJ Book Publishing LLC.  It covers the interaction of McGee and Powell. The former U of L men’s basketball director of operations allegedly paid an escort service for four years to provide sex to recruits on campus visits.

Allegedly, 43-year-old Powell has handwritten pages with bookings for McGee and players as well as text messages from McGee.

The University of Louisville released a statement saying the University first learned of the allegations when the Indianapolis Business Journal contacted the University’s sports information department seeking comment in late August.

On its own initiative, the University of Louisville notified the NCAA Enforcement Staff regarding this matter and has been in regular communication with the NCAA.

University of Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich and men’s basketball Head Coach Rick Pitino spoke with media members on Friday evening.

Pitino was shocked and disheartened to hear the news, saying no one knew anything about this.

“We know the allegations, now we have to find the truth,” Pitino said. “I can’t say what is true and not true, but I can say as soon as we found out, within minutes the NCAA was called.”

Jurich has handed the allegations over to the Compliance Group (TCG), who provides an array of NCAA compliance services to intercollegiate athletic departments.

Chuck Smrt will lead the investigation. Smrt was employed by the NCAA Enforcement Staff for over 17 years and was responsible for the overall coordination of the major infractions process. He has been present at over 100 hearings before the NCAA Committee on Infractions.

“If anything happens to this University, the NCAA and Chuck Smrt will be the first to know,” Jurich said.

There is no time table for completion of the investigation.

“We’re still trying to uncover the facts,” Jurich said. “We want to get to the bottom of it as much as anybody.”

McGee has coached at the University of Missouri-Kansas City since 2014 after working under Pitino as the Director of Basketball Operations from 2012-14.

McGee played at the University of Louisville from 2005-2009. The former point guard started throughout his career and played on two teams that reached the Elite Eight.

After playing one year professionally in Germany, McGee returned to Louisville as a graduate assistant.

When Pitino spoke with McGee about the allegations, the former player denied it.

Shortly after trying to investigate the allegations himself, Pitino was shut down by the University of Louisville’s compliance department and can no longer speak with McGee.

On Friday evening, UMKC announced McGee was placed on leave during the ongoing investigation.

McGee is being represented by Scott Cox, one of the top defense attorney’s in the city of Louisville.

Cox said McGee is not facing any criminal charges.

“Andre McGee has cooperated at every step of the investigation,” Cox said. “He loves the University of Louisville.”

Cox believes Powell wrote the book merely to make money and gain attention.

“If there is anything defamatory, we are excited to get into it,” Cox said.

IBJ Book Publishing stated that Powell would receive 10 percent of the gross commissions on the book. According to the IBJ Book Publishing website, the book will sell electronically for $9.95, and hard copies will be sold for $17.95.

The print version will only be sold through the publishing company’s website, but the electronic version will be available through most major outlets, including Apple’s iBookstore, Google’s eBookstore, Sony, Barnes & Noble Nook and Amazon Kindle.

 

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates, and follow along on social media.

About Olivia Krauth

Copy Editor at The Louisville Cardinal.

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