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6 Questions I Have About the Louisville Scandal

I can’t stop watching the coverage of the Louisville scandal. It’s now the biggest story in sports, playing on loop on each ESPN station. Almost every national and local writer has weighed in on the topic, with some going as far to call for Rick Pitino’s job. I realize there’s plenty going on in the world of UK sports, but before I shift back, here are the questions I have after watching 7+ hours of coverage.

1.  Where did the money come from?

The most obvious question. Through five former players and recruits, ESPN confirmed that Andre McGee supplied money for strippers and prostitutes, and on one occasion after he left Louisville, wired money to Katina Powell for her and one of her dancers servicing Antonio Blakeney and his guardian. Even though Powell claimed she only received roughly $10,000 for the 22 or so parties, “Outside the Lines” reporter John Barr estimated the amount of money paid for the escort services was much higher than that, in the tens of thousands. Perhaps Powell was only referring to the money she made and not the total sum by all the dancers before it was doled out.

In both her book and on “Outside the Lines” today, Powell said McGee said he went to the ATM to get the money, but he would arrive at the dorms or hotel rooms with it in bank-banded stacks. When asked where she thought McGee got the money, Powell mentioned a mysterious “Coach Mike” whom McGee repeatedly referred to and she spoke to on the phone twice.

2.  Who is “Coach Mike”?

So, who is “Coach Mike”? The most obvious possibility is Mike Balado, an assistant coach at Louisville who joined the staff in April 2013, towards the end of the timeline. Along with Pitino, Balado was Antonio Blakeney’s primary recruiter, and in theory, could have been the one to contact McGee after he left Louisville to arrange for Katina and her dancer to entertain Blakeney and his guardian on his visit. Powell said McGee told her to pull out all the stops to get Blakeney to commit, which he did. Ten days later, he decommitted, telling, “”I feel like I made a quick emotional decision based on some of the wrong reasons.”

The fact that OTL independently verified the texts sent to Powell to arrange the parties came from McGee’s phone and the wire transfer after the Blakeney visit is damning on its own, but to me, it’s also proof McGee wasn’t acting alone at Louisville. By the time of Blakeney’s visit (September 2014), McGee was already on staff at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Do you really believe that he would still arrange these visits all on his own when he wasn’t on staff? He had to be working with someone, aka “Coach Mike,” which yes, could be a code name, except I think McGee has proved he’s not that clever.

3.  Will Pitino be forced to resign?

It’s clear he’s not going on his own. This morning, Tom Jurich released a statement saying Pitino has no plans to step down, a small sign of support. Despite the fact that several national and local writers — including Rick Bozich, the last writer you’d expect to turn on Pitino — are calling for him to resign, Pitino is digging his heels in to go down with the ship. It appears Jurich is in his corner, but when all of this broke a few weeks ago, it was clear UofL president James Ramsey is not. Ramsey did not include Pitino in his statement about the scandal a few weeks back, a pretty ominous sign. Will Ramsey and the Board of Trustees pressure Pitino out?

4. Will Andre McGee fall in line?

This afternoon, Pitino did a conference call with Dana O’Neil and Pat Forde in which he called for Andre McGee to come forward:

“I don’t know if any of this is true or not. There’s only one person who knows the truth, and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do the right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here.”

Let me translate this for you: “Andre, you better fall in line and lie to the NCAA and the media or I will make your life a living hell.”

What will McGee do?

5.  Is Zach Price one of the whistle blowers?

We know that five former players and recruits confirmed the allegations to ESPN. The Twittersphere did some investigative work this morning and discovered this tweet from former Louisville player Zach Price almost a month ago:

Price played sparingly at Louisville from 2011-2013 before transferring to Missouri and Winthrop. He’s not exactly a choir boy (was dismissed from Missouri after a former teammate filed an order of protection against him), but he may have an axe to grind. Is he one of the five that talked to ESPN?

6.  Is this the new Deflate Gate?

If so, Louisville is toast. I turned ESPN on this morning at 7 a.m. CT and the Louisville scandal had been the lead story all day. I’ve seen the same clips of Powell at least ten times and I stopped watching after “Outside the Lines.” The IBJ may have broken this story, but ESPN has made it its own with the OTL investigation. Sex sells (literally in this case…rimshot!), and since they took it mainstream, ESPN will run with this story into the ground.

Hell hath no fury like a TV/news outlet after ratings. Except, maybe, Pitino fighting for his legacy.

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

40 Comments for 6 Questions I Have About the Louisville Scandal

  1. chimichanga
    4:14 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Pitino using the media to pressure McGee seems rather short-sighted.

  2. Stevo
    4:36 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    While the situation might not be funny but the reaction of the UL media is pure comic gold!

  3. J-Dub421
    4:36 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    I love how Pitino talks about loyalty and honesty, and being a Louisville Man, right up until its time for Rick himself to exhibit those qualities. Andre McGee was Pitino’s boy, played for him for 4 years, then worked for him and was promoted to Director of Basketball Operations. Now Rick is going to throw him under the bus, ruin his career, and let him be the fall guy so that Rick can try to stay clean and keep the few tattered shreds of his own reputation. I truly don’t understand why any of Pitino’s former players would show any loyalty to him, when he shows none to them.

    • Leuther
      7:26 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Due process? Innocent until proven guilty?

    • Booby Petrino
      8:57 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Lol this is awesome ^^^ Leuther still in denial. Gold!

    • Ha!
      10:52 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Cheer up Leuther!!! Everyone will forget about this in 25-30 years……

    • J-Dub421
      11:30 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Where was the due process when Rick tried to get rid of Van Trese, got rid of Jared Swopshire, and several other guys he himself recruited when someone better came along? Or when he talked Russ Smith and Montrezl Harrell into coming back for one more year because he would help them improve their draft stock, but really it was to help Rick. Or how about when Rick threw Chris Jones and Wayne Blackshear under the bus after losses?

  4. L1Cnothing
    4:41 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    So, Katina Powell was grossing $454.54 per party and then splitting that between herself and her dancers/prostitutes. Luckily, the U of L fan shop has an autographed Russ Smith jersey for only $350, so she can get one of those and, after taxes and shipping, still have almost $100!

    • matty arbuckle
      4:43 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Might be just enough left over to have sex with Montrezl again!

  5. matty arbuckle
    4:42 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    To add to this list, I would also like to know if any of the involved parties (recruits or escorts) were minors at the time of engaging in sexual favors. That could potentially throw in additional concerns of statutory rape or other sex crimes involving minors.

  6. leon singleton
    4:44 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Instead of being on TV trying to sell books the bitch should be in jail for extortion. and crimes against Louisville.

    • CatsBy80
      4:46 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      who exactly is she extorting?

    • Cat's Other Paw
      4:47 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Rick Pitino is now posting under the name Leon Singleton?

    • question.mark
      5:19 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Wow. You think this is like the Sypher thing? Do you even know what extortion means? Ul fans make me lmao

    • Dee W.
      8:49 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      Who did she blackmail?

  7. Jon
    4:49 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Shouldn’t want Pitino gone. He can’t beat Kentucky anyway. The longer he stays the better for UK.

  8. George
    4:53 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    UL fans should be thankful for Katina Powell and her ladies. Those girls played a crucial part in securing that 3rd championship, the last one they will see in decades to come.

  9. john wall
    4:59 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    How would Katina know Antonio Blakeny has a guardian instead of a father if this didnt happen????
    Its the little things that make this so obviously true. I live with 3 delusional Louisville fans and the group text im forced (although find it hilarious) to be in is just non stop delusion. RIDICULOUS!

  10. BluKudzu
    5:12 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    The Governer has stepped in telling Ramsey to get “On Top” of this. I am thinking some heads are going to roll, due to damage control. Follow the money. It will tell you more than you can imagine.

  11. Dude
    5:22 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Actually they said he came back from the ATM with bank bundled stacks. Not rubber bands.

  12. LYing Bastards
    5:25 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    As of today McGee has been paid off to take all the blame and to specifically exonerate Pitino from any knowledge. That’s why Pitino is now calling for McGee to come out and “tell the truth”. Also how interesting that Minardi Hall was run by the athletic department not the university. Seems like Jurich was running their own little whore house on campus

    • Jim B
      8:48 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      That’s my take on it too. The whole “McGee isn’t talking” narrative is being pushed awfully hard by U of L which makes me think they know (or are telling him) what he will say. Details yet to come but they will probably follow the UNCheat model and declare him a “rogue” in the program.

  13. Catsrus
    5:30 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Always admired RP’s coaching but this scandal beats all I’ve heard of in College Sports. JDub41 made me a good point as how RP is throwing Magee under the bus. Its pretty naive to think cheating goes on a most Universities. There is so much incentive to cheat: Big bucks for winning and look at Alabama football, even though they were punished they came out of it stronger than ever. IU is the one cheater that has not recovered.

  14. Catsrus
    5:32 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Always admired RP’s coaching but this scandal beats all I’ve heard of in College Sports. JDub41 made me a good point as how RP is throwing Magee under the bus. Its pretty naive to think cheating goes not go on at most Universities. There is so much incentive to cheat: Big bucks for winning and look at Alabama football, even though they were punished they came out of it stronger than ever. IU is the one cheater that has not recovered.

  15. MIACAT
    5:38 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    What I’m waiting for is for people to get smart enough to listen to exactly what Pitino said, “McGee had nothing to do with recruiting because he was the Director of Basketball Operations.” So Rick, who was in charge of recruiting? Possibly the Associate Head Coach? That statement might really come back and hit close to home. He might have just thrown little Richard (his own son) under the bus.

  16. GatorCat
    5:43 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    If UL would pay Clint Hurtt $300,000 per year to do nothing but keep his mouth shut – despite a Show Cause penalty – not a stretch to think the new Jag is already in garage of McGee’s new condo. Rick’s call out to him is scripted smoke.

  17. MIACAT
    5:50 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    I mean it was Richard’s excellent “recruiting skills? that got him hired at FAU right?

  18. MIACAT
    5:51 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Sorry FIU, not FAU.

  19. KevinM
    5:58 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Greg ‏@GregNJ · 3h3 hours ago
    Travis Ford says no way Pitino didn’t know

    Oh he knows, and Pitino didn’t plan on having one of the girls keeping records.

  20. Dwane
    6:02 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    So now we know how you spend your day. Wow. Also thanks for the clever translation. Please let us know if his banner is still hanging in Rupp.

    • Ha!
      9:52 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

      HhAHAHA! U mad, bro? Or sad? Your little ghetto commuter school is going down in flames. DEAL WITH IT. Karma is a mofugga, eh? 😉


  21. MIACAT
    6:11 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Dwane, I’m actually still at my office that overlooks Biscayne Bay working and enjoying a blog that involves my Alma Mater. Enjoy Louisville and the season.

  22. oruacat2
    6:36 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    7) What did Richard Pitino know, and when did he know it? He was pretty adamant that Coach Rick is completely innocent, but Richard was on staff during this same time period, too.

  23. Catsrus
    6:45 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    But where oh where could Little Richard learned to be devious? BTW how did RP’s relationship with Joanna fare after the Sypher event?

  24. Scott
    7:58 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Richard said at big ten media days that it didn’t happen, then he changed his tune to his dad didn’t know. And since Luke Hancock didn’t see anything like that, then it couldn’t have happened!

    To quote George Costanza, “jerry, it’s comedy gold!”

  25. Txt
    10:06 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    Every time Pitino has interviewed he has acted completely distraught over this scandal. Then, one of the Louisville tv stations shows video of him at the UofL tip-off luncheon and he’s up at the podium telling jokes, laughing, looking anything but tormented or distraught like the day before. I think Mr. Pitino is quite the actor. I don’t believe for a second this guy didn’t know about this stuff. Keep digging.

  26. The NCAA is THOR
    10:21 pm October 20, 2015 Permalink

    And here comes thou hammer. Slick, The neck, and the pres are all done. The fact this trash make this much money in this position and they are effectively putting all blame on Mcgee. His career was done anyway but that is completely the Louisville way. Hey Rick… “ONE DAY CONTRACT”.. HEY CARDINAL DBAGS “LOUISVILLE FIRST”