ESPN Report: 3 Former Recruits Told NCAA About Louisville’s Sex, Stripper Parties
ESPN Report: 3 Former Recruits Told NCAA About Louisville’s Sex, Stripper Parties

Louisville’s recruiting scandal—the one that alleges that on-campus recruiting parties included strippers and sex from prostitutes—took another turn Sunday when ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported that three former recruits confirmed Katina Powell’s 2015 claims to NCAA investigators, a source close to the NCAA investigation told Outside the Lines.

Powell, a 43-year-old self-described former escort detailed the recruiting parties in the book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.”

According to Powell, former Louisville graduate assistant—and later the director of basketball operations—Andre McGee paid her roughly $10,000 to supply dancers and escorts for parties that took place at Billy Minardi Hall—the on-campus dorm that housed basketball players and other athletes.

Powell said that those parties were designed to lure recruits to the Rick Pitino coach team.

A person who’s familiar with the NCAA’s rules told Outside the Lines that, based on the statements from the three players to the NCAA, Louisville might have violated NCAA rules on impermissible benefits to players or shown a lack of institutional control—or both. “If you’ve got three [recruits], that’s a slam dunk” to put together a case, the source said. “That’s the enforcement staff’s dream.”

Both sources spoke to Outside the Lines on the condition of anonymity, citing the NCAA’s ongoing investigation.

Last October, five Louisville players and recruits told Outside the Lines that they attended the recruiting parties. One former recruit and player said he had sex with a dancer and that McGee paid for it. Another recruit, who didn’t attend Louisville, said of the parties: “I knew they weren’t college girls. It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club.”

The three recruits who met with the NCAA provided information about how much money they were given by McGee at the parties to give to the dancers who stripped, the source close to the investigation said. “It’s a pathetic story,” the source said. “McGee gave the players a stack of dollar bills ranging from $200 to $500. Everybody in the room got the money—the recruits and the current members of the team. Not only that, but McGee himself had his own stack of dollar bills. If this guy’s spending $2,000 to $3,000 on a recruiting weekend, where’s this money coming from?”

On Thursday, a source told ESPN’s Dana O’Neil that Pitino—who has said he knew nothing about the parties—will be interviewed by the NCAA in April.

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