University of Louisville Coach Rick Pitino Charged in Prostitution Scandal

Katina Powell claims that she and her daughters were paid by a former staff worker to provide entertainment and sexual favors to basketball players and recruits.

Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals in 2015 Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The University of Louisville was rocked last year with claims that former players and recruits were lured to the school with sex from prostitutes hired by a former university employee.

On Thursday the NCAA “formally charged current and former staff members in its men’s basketball program, including Coach Rick Pitino, with major rules violations related to a scandal in which a university employee provided prostitutes who performed sexual acts with players and recruits,” the New York Times reports.

Although it is unclear exactly what penalties those charged will face, the NCAA did issue a letter (pdf) noting that former men’s-basketball-program staff members were facing four Level 1 infractions. The Times reports that the staff members avoided the most serious charge of “lack of institutional control.”

Pitino has adamantly denied that he knew or had any involvement with the alleged actions of Andre McGee, Louisville’s former director of basketball operations. According to an October 2015 interview, Katina Powell claims that McGee hired, arranged and provided dancers for recruits. Powell claims that McGee paid her and her two daughters not only to strip but also to have sex with former players and recruits over a four-year period. Pitino has been charged with failure to monitor his employees and could face suspension.

“Improper activities took place in a dormitory that never should have occurred,” Louisville’s athletic director, Tom Jurich, said in a statement. “When the facts were established, we acted. We took appropriate punitive and corrective actions,” Jurich said, noting that Louisville issued a self-imposed postseason ban.

While several former staff members were charged, the university itself is not facing any charges.

Louisville has 90 days to respond to the infractions before “the Committee on Infractions is expected to be scheduled for next spring,” the Times reports.

Read more at the New York Times.

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