Rick Pitino, Louisville Fighting NCAA Allegations In Escort Scandal

    Rick Pitino and Louisville are refuting NCAA allegations in the school's escort scandal. The Cardinals have already endured a self-imposed postseason ban.

    January 25, 2017

    Rick Pitino and Louisville are refuting NCAA allegations in the school’s escort scandal. The Cardinals have already endured a self-imposed postseason ban.


    The lawyer for Louisville’s Rick Pitino says the head men’s basketball coach should never have been charged by the NCAA with failure to monitor his program in the school’s escort scandal.

    Pitino is alleged to have failed to monitor a former assistant, and according to the university’s official response to the NCAA as well as formal documents that were obtained by ESPN, the school is arguing that it should not be held to the highest of NCAA punishments.

    “The enforcement staff has overreached in this case,” Scott Tompsett, the lawyer for Pitino, stated. “Pitino should never have been charged.”

    Tompsett states that several people interviewed by the enforcement staff said that Pitino did not know or could not know, and that the enforcement staff “has not identified one red flag that put Pitino on notice of [Andre] McGee’s illicit activities.”

    Former Cardinals director of basketball operations Andre McGee was charged with paying escorts to perform sexual acts for players and recruits in violation of NCAA rules. Under current rules, Pitino could face a multiple-game ban for a Level I violation, which is what Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and former SMU head coach Larry Brown had to deal with when they were in hot water with the governing body.

    The university affirms Tompsett’s position in separate documents, saying it “disagrees” with the allegation relating to the Hall of Fame head coach. The school also argues that the committee should consider the violations Level I, mitigating, and not subject to the harsher Level I class of punishment.

    Louisville has not refuted that the allegations occurred, but it said that the supposed actions did not greatly assist in the team’s recruiting efforts. The school has already self-imposed sanctions, including a postseason ban last year.

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