What the heck is going on in Louisville? I — like everyone else — want to know who is telling the truth. I also want to know the thought process behind Katina Powell’s hiring of an attorney. Here is who she chose:
Anyway, this is a very bizarre case in the fact that so many different parties are adamantly on one side of the fence. My favorite player to come to the defense of Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals innocence is Terrence Williams. Williams was the defensive big man who would become a first round draft pick, albeit a rather unsuccessful one, by the New Jersey Nets. Here’s what he had to say:
“I am not a part of that,” Williams said to TMZ Sports. “To Louisville I am [expletive] Elvis Presley. So why would I pay anybody for anything?”
“[Expletive] pay me for pictures and handshakes. And that’s not being cocky, ’cause I don’t play around with my blessing. I’m very honored to be in that position in Louisville. Louisville is the greatest city, the fans are great, Rick Pitino is great.”
So for those of you who do not follow college hoops, here is the quick rundown. Katina Powell wrote a book in which she has claimed that from roughly the 2009 to 2014, she was paid by once director of Louisville basketball operations Andre McGee to have stripper parties in the dorm. These parties often led to sexual activities that were paid for, and if my understanding is correct, Powell brought her 15 and 17-year old daughters along to “help out”.
Several recruits have come out and confirmed these allegations to ESPN’s Outside the Lines, while others have joined Williams in vehemently denying that such occurrences existed. The OTL report claims that there are texts and wires from McGee to the prostitutes. Pitino has said he knows nothing about the circumstances and all he wants is McGee to sit down and tell the truth (see Slick Rick’s statement here).
So why is McGee so afraid to put an end to this? Either way, whether he admits his hand in it or comes out and says that the book is a complete fabrication, he is going to have a rough road ahead of him. Either way, this will seemingly go to court, whether to attack Louisville or attack Powell, and since McGee is front and center, he is going to be involved in the hearings.
And where does Pitino stand? Some of the Wayniacs have asked me whether or not I think he should be suspended until actions are resolved. Some have called him a pimp, which I think is hilarious, but if he had a hand in it, he kind of is. Others think he should be fired.
Based on precedent, Pitino may already know his fate. Jim Boeheim is currently appealing a suspension for incidents which he claimed he had no knowledge of. Joe Paterno was dragged through the mud (grant it, he had more of a hand in the situation than Boeheim or Pitino seemingly do) because of the filthy, horrific escapades of Jerry Sandusky. The head coach, whether he want’s to play dumb or not, is always to blame.
On a larger level, Louisville is under scrutiny for committing illegal activities and if Pitino did in fact say something along the lines of do what you got to do, I just don’t want to know, well, it means he knew. His job won’t be secure.
On a smaller scale, take away the legality of the issue — take away the fact that if Powell is telling the truth then minors were quite possibly being paid to have relations with minors — what you have here is an NCAA violation. If Powell is telling the truth, these recruits that were given sex parties were receiving gifts. They were being influenced to make their decision to commit to Louisville backed on the almighty hoo hah, and that will not only bring legal ramifications, but NCAA sanctions along with it. It may make those Final Four visits Pitino is hanging his hat on disappear, and leave him with nothing.
Look, Pitino is a great coach (he’s part of the Boeheim coaching tree, he has his positives), but this isn’t the first time he has been in the news for lewd conduct (remember that whole sex extortion deal? In his defense it was an unnecessary headache, but a headache nonetheless). And this won’t go away quietly. College basketball season is looming, and if this whole who’s telling the truth game is still going on, Louisville will have no choice but to fire — or at the very least indefinitely suspend — Pitino. Young men can’t be expected to perform with that kind of pressure and media scrutiny on them.
It will be interesting to see what goes down in the following days. One thing is for sure — this isn’t a news story that will go away.