Pitino by Rick Pitino

Pitino by Rick Pitino

Author:Rick Pitino
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: General Fiction
Publisher: Diversion Books
Published: 2018-07-19T16:00:00+00:00

Following the Money

The investigations soon started in earnest. Chuck Smrt interviewed all our players.

Beforehand, I held a meeting and urged my players to stick to the truth. “If any of you know anything, make sure you tell the NCAA the gospel truth,” I said. “Do not lie; do not deceive anyone.”

While I made this speech, I was looking at my team captain, Mangok Mathiang. At this point I knew that a photo of Mangok—standing shirtless between Katina Powell and one of her daughters—appeared in the book with a caption saying he had stopped by one of their parties “but didn’t have sex.”

“Do any of you guys know anything about these stripper parties?” I asked. I didn’t think any of the other players were at any of the parties, but I was hoping that Mangok would say something.

Instead, another player raised his hand, and said, “Yes, Coach. I know something.”

I was shocked. “How do you know? You weren’t here at this time.”

“I was a recruit,” he said. “I came in and Andre McGee had me go to a strip party and asked if I wanted to be with any of the girls.”

I immediately let Tom Jurich, the school president and compliance, know we had a witness to Andre’s crass parties. And I told the young man I was proud of him for telling the truth. Compliance reported the player to the NCAA and they suspended him for a week. He was soon reinstated after he did some community service.

While the NCAA began digging in earnest, the Louisville media was conducting its own probes. They reported, for instance, that Katina Powell denied her daughters were underage while working the on-campus stripper shows. The denial came after Commonwealth Attorney Thomas Wine, who serves as an elected prosecutor in the Louisville area, told reporters he was consulting with University of Louisville Police and the Metro Police Crimes Against Children Unit regarding the possible criminal violations revealed in the book, which he said caused “grave concern.” No charges have been filed against Powell, but there does seem to be a contradiction somewhere. Was she lying in her book about her daughters’ ages or lying to the press?

And was she lying about anything else? Some of the best reporting on this issue was done by a journalist named Eric Crawford. (Full disclosure: Eric co-wrote a book with me, a best seller about maximizing every minute of your life, The One-Day Contract. Unfortunately, this hasn’t stopped Eric from maximizing his life by raking me over the coals at times.)

To his credit, Eric tried to do what the NCAA would do when it comes to investigating recruiting violations—those deadly sins the organization calls “impermissible inducements” for recruits and “extra benefits” when they involve matriculating student-athletes. Since the NCAA attempts to put dollar values on these benefits and inducements when handing out penalties, Eric decided to see how much money Andre actually spent on his stripper parties. (Speaking of benefits, the NCAA allows schools to pay for “reasonable entertainment expenses” while hosting recruits during official visits.



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