Louisville Receives Notice of Allegations, Rick Pitino Charged by NCAA

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2016

LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 01:  Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at KFC YUM! Center on March 1, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The University of Louisville received a notice of allegations from the NCAA on Thursday in relation to the prostitution scandal that surfaced last season. Furthermore, head men's basketball coach Rick Pitino was charged with failing to monitor a staff member.

Louisville announced its receipt of the NOA on its official website, and ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil speculated that Pitino could face a multigame suspension based on previous discipline for coaches over similar violations.

The university has 90 days to respond to the NCAA's notice of allegations.

Per O'Neil, the NOA includes four Level I charges. One is against Pitino, one is against former assistant Brandon Williams, and two are against former director of basketball operations Andre McGee.

"I've spoken to Andre McGee one time," Pitino said, per Nick Coffey of 790 KRD. "It really wasn't much of a speech. There was a lot of yelling. Andre's been advised not to speak."

Former escort Katina Powell, who wrote the book Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen, alleged that McGee arranged multiple parties for prospective recruits from 2010 through 2014 in which he paid for women to strip for and have sex with recruits, according to ESPN.com's John Barr.

Although four charges were brought against current and former Louisville men's basketball staff members, none were levied against the university itself.

"I'm not guilty of failing to monitor my staff," Pitino said, per Rob Dauster of NBC Sports. "I'm guilty of trusting someone."

"The reason it never came up to me is because if you were a player, you'd be immediately suspended, a coach would be immediately fired," Pitino explained, per Howie Lindsey of 790 KRD.

Louisville AD Tom Jurich told reporters that it is fair to ask whether Pitino should have known about the escorts but said there is no way the coach could have known, per Jon Solomon of CBS Sports.

According to Lindsey, Jurich said the incident should not end Pitino's career: "Because we don’t agree with it. We will fight and dispute that."

When asked about the recruit sex parties last year, Pitino said he had no knowledge of what occurred, per O'Neil: "Not myself, not one player, not one trainer, not one assistant, not one person knew anything about any of this. If anyone did, it would have been stopped on a dime. Not one person knew anything about it."

Even if Pitino was unaware of the situation, the NCAA can still discipline him since it's his responsibility to oversee and run the program.

In a joint statement from Louisville President Dr. Neville Pinto and Jurich, the university expressed support for Pitino: "We believe that Mr. McGee acted furtively and note that the NOA does not indicate that any other university employee besides Mr. McGee had knowledge of these activities. We are confident in Coach Pitino, and we know he is and always has been committed to NCAA compliance."

The Louisville men's basketball team enacted a self-imposed postseason ban last season. The Cardinals are set to open their regular-season schedule against Evansville on Nov. 11.


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