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Allegations: Escorts at Louisville

Louisville coach Rick Pitino says the allegations “almost got me sick to my stomach.”

Louisville coach Rick Pitino says the allegations “almost got me sick to my stomach.”

Louisville is investigating allegations that former Cardinals basketball staffer Andre McGee brought escorts into dorm parties and paid for the women to strip and have sex with recruits, their fathers and players.

Those allegations by Katina Powell are in an upcoming book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen, from a publishing affiliate of the Indianapolis Business Journal. Some details of the book were published on the Journal's website, noting during a four-year period many of the activities took place in the players' dormitory.

Louisville officials say they learned of the allegations in late August and immediately notified the NCAA. McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City. That school put McGee on paid leave Friday night and issued a statement saying the allegations were being taken seriously.

The age of consent to have sexual intercourse in Kentucky is 16, though in some instances it could be 18. It's unclear if a criminal investigation has been launched in light of the allegations.

Louisville Metro police spokeswoman Alicia Smiley said she was unaware of any investigation by the department, saying it was an issue to be handled by campus police. University police operator Peter Anderson said he was unaware of the allegations. Cardinals basketball spokesman Kenny Klein initially notified the compliance office about the allegations but said he didn't know if police are involved.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said the situation caused sleeplessness when he first found out and said he tried to conduct his own investigation before being rebuffed by the school's compliance office.

Pitino said McGee denied the allegations in a brief conversation.

The Journal's summary of the book said Powell brought women to 22 parties from 2010 to 2014 at Billy Minardi Hall, which houses Cardinals basketball players.

The woman said she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book. Powell, 43, also said McGee offered recruits alcohol at the parties.

McGee played for Louisville from 2005-09 and started 57 games during his career. He could not be reached for comment.

Jurich and Pitino said they believe that money was the woman's motivation for writing the book. Powell was paid for the book, but said in an interview with the Journal that she felt it was important to tell the story.

The publishing company said it paid investigators and Pulitzer-Prize winning reporter Dick Cady to vet Powell's story, and based much of it on journal entries, photos and text messages.

"To say I'm disheartened, disappointed would be probably the biggest understatement I've made since I've been a coach," Pitino said. "It's mind-boggling to me how all this could go on. I've read the statement that the publishing company put out and it almost got me sick to my stomach."

Allegations: Escorts at Louisville 10/02/15 [Last modified: Friday, October 2, 2015 11:07pm]
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