The Slatest

Louisville Basketball Program Faces Sex Party Allegations

Louisville coach Rick Pitino receives the National Association of Basketball Coaches Metropolitan Award for “long and outstanding service to men’s college basketball” on April 5 in Indianapolis.

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images Sport

News broke earlier in October that a self-described former escort named Katina Powell had alleged in a self-published book that a University of Louisville basketball assistant coach paid her to provide stripper-slash-prostitutes at dorm parties for basksetball players and recruits. But out-of-left-field allegations in a self-published book are one thing; admissions from players themselves that such ethically and legally dicey activities took place are another, and today ESPN’s Outside the Lines show reported that it’s gotten confirmation from five former Louisville players and/or recruits that they “attended parties at a campus dorm from 2010 to 2014 that included strippers paid for by the team’s former graduate assistant coach.”

Moreover, one of those athletes told ESPN that assistant coach Andre McGee paid for him to have sex with one of the women, and ESPN’s report quotes both of Katina Powell’s daughters (!) as saying that they were paid for sex at the dorm. From Outside the Lines:

Of the roughly two dozen dancers who [Katina] Powell says she brought to Minardi Hall from 2010 to 2014, she estimated that all but five or six had sex for money with former Louisville basketball players, active Cardinals players or recruits who were visiting the campus.

“The recruit would pick out what girl he wanted. Andre would come to me, tell me what girl the recruit wanted, and I would tell the girl and she would say her price,” Powell said.

McGee is currently on leave from his job as a coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and did not comment on the ESPN story. Head coach Rick Pitino has has denied any knowledge of the dorm parties and Louisville’s athletic department released a statement today asserting that Pitino has “no plans to step down.” Pitino was involved in his own utterly bizarre Louisville sex scandal a few years ago; he admitted in 2009 to having had extramarital sex in 2003 with a woman named Karen Sypher who was ultimately convicted of extorting him—but not before she reportedly had an abortion which Pitino is said to have admitted paying for, married the Louisville equipment manager who drove her to have the abortion procedure (!) and had a baby with him that was baptized by the Louisville team chaplain (!!) before getting divorced from the equipment manager and accusing Pitino of rape. (Authorities said Sypher’s claims of having been raped had no merit.)