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The 10 Craziest Moments From A Dark Day For The University Of Louisville

The smoke is still clearing on what was a dark, dark day for the University of Louisville, which received its public infractions report from the NCAA regarding the sex scandal in the men’s basketball program. This morning, I doubted any of us expected the NCAA to hammer UofL like they did; while Rick Pitino escaped with only a five-game ACC suspension, the program will have to vacate games from December 2010 through July 2014. That means, barring a miracle, UofL’s 2013 National Championship and 2012 Final Four will be struck from the record.

A LOT happened today, and while we absolutely suggest you scroll through the site to catch up (if only to check out some masterpieces by Drew Franklin), I spent the afternoon breaking it down into ten crazy moments.

 The NCAA is going after that banner

Among the NCAA’s punishments are “a vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible from December 2010 and July 2014.” UofL will have 45 days to submit a written report to the NCAA outlining which games the ineligible players participated in, which is standard procedure. The NCAA’s report said 15 recruits and 3 enrolled players were involved in “adult entertainment and/or prostitution.” UofL special consultant Chuck Smrt confirmed that the ineligible players in question did play in the 2013 National Championship game, meaning that unless UofL wins its appeal (a very slim chance), that banner is gone.

Who were those enrolled players? We probably know because…

 Katina Powell called into KSR moments after the ruling came out

Who better to ask about the incidents than the woman behind it all? Katina Powell agreed to come on the show to discuss the ruling, and confirmed that Russ Smith, Chane Behanan, and Montrezl Harrell all participated in the sex acts or strip shows. All three played in the 2013 title game. Title gone.

 The testimony from the recruits is damning

Included in the 35-page infractions report from the NCAA is a detailed account of the “Late Night Activities in Minardi Hall” from the recruits and players interviewed. The more you read, the more disturbing it gets. Of the 15 recruits involved, at least seven or as many as ten were minors under the age of 18 at the time. Four of the recruits who engaged in sex acts were 17, while one was 16. Another 16-year-old recruit declined the offer of a sex act, while a third 16-year-old witnessed a striptease but was not interviewed. For those of you asking how no one went to jail for statutory rape for all of this, the age of consent in Kentucky is 16.

Seriously, the further you go in this, the worse it becomes. The fact that all of these tawdry acts are laid out in the NCAA’s formal legalese actually makes it seem even dirtier than Katina’s descriptions in “Breaking Cardinal Rules.”

 This passage alone makes the NCAA’s verdict indisputable

From pages nine through ten, as highlighted by Eric Crawford:

Ugh. I feel like I need to go scrub my hands clean and watch some cartoons for a while after reading that. The overwhelming horribleness of all of this is exactly why UofL’s appeal has no hope. Repeatedly today, the NCAA debunked UofL’s main defense: that because the sex acts/strip shows didn’t cost much ($5,400 in total), the violations aren’t severe enough to take the 2013 title away. Throughout the report and in their comments during the conference call today, the NCAA made it clear that the monetary value of the acts has zero correlation to the reprehensible nature of the acts themselves, which undermine the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model.

“These are severe violations, regardless of any dollar amounts assigned to them,” the report reads. “In this instance, the panel need not ascertain an exact value of the activities. The nature of the violations themselves, without more, elevates them to Level I. The types of activities that occurred in this case were repugnant and threaten the integrity of the NCAA Collegiate Model, regardless of any precise dollar value assigned to them.”

There is no way to argue that. Game, set, match, NCAA.

 Brandon Williams refused to turn over his phone because his mom had it

There’s a lengthy section of the report that deals with a “former program assistant” that took over the striptease/prostitution operations when McGee left. We know now that person is Brandon Williams, who worked at UofL from 2014-2016. The report suggests Williams was specifically involved in the July 2014 incident, in which a prospect (Antonio Blakeney) and his father had sex with Powell and her daughter. While the meet-up was still orchestrated from afar by McGee, the report alleges that Williams paid Powell beforehand outside the back door of Minardi Hall, citing “institutional records” to confirm that he went through the door around 10 p.m. that night.

Williams refused to cooperate with the investigation, telling the NCAA that he couldn’t turn his phone over because it actually belonged to his mother.

“In his supplemental response, dated March 24, 2017, he asserted for the first time that he could not produce the requested phone records because the phone was controlled by his mother, who would not consent to their release.”

Mama’s boy!

 An assistant coach blamed a bad practice on the strippers

Rick Pitino may not have been aware of what was happening with his team between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., but several members of his staff were. The report notes that “assistant coach 3” (not McGee or Brandon Williams) called out the team for playing bad in practice “because y’all had strippers in there all night.”

“Prospect 4 related an incident after he enrolled when assistant coach 3 made a comment to the team that it had practiced poorly ‘because y’all had strippers in there all night.’ He felt that assistant coach 3 may have known of the incidents, as assistant coach 3 was ‘close’ to the former operations director.”

Uhhh, ya think?? Wow.

 The NCAA only gave Rick Pitino a 5-game suspension…and he was still outraged!

Going in to today, many of us expected the NCAA to go after Rick Pitino and not the 2013 banner. Well, it was pretty much the opposite. Pitino was only suspended for five conference games for failure to monitor, a mere slap on the wrist considering the severity of the violations against his program. Yet, Pitino was STILL outraged by the punishment, his lawyer calling the NCAA’s finding “one of the weakest I’ve ever seen against a head coach.”

In a long line of BS that’s associated with Rick Pitino, that may take the cake. Five conference games is nothing after you read this report. I don’t believe Rick knew about the happenings at Minardi Hall, but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be responsible for them; that’s how leadership works. Sixteen-year-olds were essentially pressured into sex acts and you’re complaining about having to sit out five games? Shut up and take your suspension, Rick. It could have been a lot worse.

 Rick Pitino reacted like a child

Pitino’s outrage over his own suspension was just the first of many bizarre behaviors from him today. Pitino attempted to take the moral high ground, blasting the NCAA for an “over-the-top” punishment and warning them that they “made a very large mistake.” The irony of Pitino’s comments is especially rich when you consider he spent more time ranting about the NCAA than showing remorse for what happened under his watch. I understand being upset, but being so defensive in a time like this is childish, a sentiment that was hammered home by Pitino’s response to a reporter’s question about what he should bear responsibility for as a head coach.

“I’m not answering that question,” Pitino said. When asked why, he quipped, “Because I don’t want to.”

If I could use that defense — essentially, a child’s — my life would be a whole lot easier.

Throughout the UofL press conference, Pitino lectured reporters, including this exchange:

Reporter: “Have you discussed the findings that were discussed today with the players that are in town or do you plan to do it?”

Pitino: “Well it doesn’t affect them in any way, but I will discuss to them what I told them all along, that every step along the way if you see something wrong, immediately step up so that it doesn’t become a problem going forward, it becomes a problem in the past that you can erase. Just, if you see something that’s going on — you have to understand — obviously this gentleman is not from here. Where are you from, by the way?”

Reporter: “Wave 3”

Pitino: “Wave 3. I guess he is from here.”

To that entire exchange, I say this:

It gets crazier!

 Rick Pitino suggested the NCAA gave Jimmy V cancer

The most bizarre moment of the presser came at the end when Rick Pitino made one final, desperate attempt at martyrdom by bringing up Jim Valvano, the former NC State coach that died of cancer in 1993.

“I’ll finish up with this story. I once saw Jimmy Valvano, and this was way before he got sick and I recommended him for a pro job and he was coaching some tough times at NC State. I saw him later on when he was just getting sick and I said, ‘Jim, how do you feel?’ And he said, ‘You know, the NCAA investigation broke down my immune system.’ And I always thought about that and I asked Bobby if that was true, did I remember it the right way and he said yes. And believe it or not, it can tear you apart, inside and out.”

So…the NCAA investigation broke down Jimmy V’s immune system, leaving him more susceptible to cancer? Or the NCAA investigation was the cancer? I’m so confused. Also, I’m shocked that he left the room before bringing up 9/11.

The NCAA finally got something right

There are some words I never thought I’d type, right? Yet, after reading the NCAA’s detailed account of how the University of Louisville basketball program tried to lure recruits — including minors — in via strip shows and sex acts, I am certain that, for once, the organization designed to govern college sports acted appropriately. Yes, they could have been harsher on Pitino, but for the most part, the infractions panel delivered a just ruling.

It all boils down to this: three players and 15 recruits received impermissible inducements and benefits arranged by an employee of the University of Louisville. Due to the despicable nature of those inducements and benefits, 108 wins and 15 NCAA Tournament wins should — and I believe, will — be wiped from their record.

UofL and Pitino can complain all they want, but those are the facts.

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.

38 Comments for The 10 Craziest Moments From A Dark Day For The University Of Louisville

  1. 8xchamp
    7:58 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Banner, and wins should be vacated. But pitino didn’t get enough suspension. And I hope by his words and actions especially today. That when the appeal comes back it gets worse

    • Han
      8:48 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

      If you buy that he didn’t know anything — no player, recruit, coach, or acquaintance ever mentioned any of it — then he’s still responsible for being so unaware. He apparently had a coaching staff and players who had no problem doing all this behind his back and he never developed enough trust with anyone that they mentioned this to him. Not the players, not the coaches, not even a security guard at Minardi. Failure to Monitor is worth 5 games suspension, eh?

  2. jeffj
    8:06 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    may the comments roll & roll & roll ……………

  3. CommonMan79
    8:11 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    I would give about anything for Hunter S. Thompson to still be alive so he could write “The University of Louisville is decadent and depraved”. At least then I could find some humor in this whole sick mess.

  4. Sheeeeeiiit
    8:18 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Wow this whole scandal is just so messed up. I just took my daughter to her orientation for her new college. Trust me it was a dog and pony show designed to separate me from my money. It was also about my daughters life and education. I can’t imagine how pissed off I would be if I found out something illegal was happening to convince her to go to that school. I can’t even comprehend how I would feel it included her being pressured to do something she didn’t want to. Take into consideration these boys were uncomfortable with what the staff was offering them and it’s just pathetic and disgusting. They need to nuke the university for this and vacating the NC is a good way to make sure it doesn’t happen again at any school. I feel the punishment is harsh but not harsh enough.

  5. Sheeeeeiiit
    8:21 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Just to clarify…my daughter is not going to UL.

  6. Catcasey1
    8:21 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Totally agree

  7. Han
    8:46 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    It’s sad, yet funny, that UofL long ago gave up denying this stuff happened, instead focusing first on trying to blame it all on 1 guy and now trying to argue it’s not as big a deal because the price attributed to the activities was relatively low. Oh, so your defense is you used cheap hookers? Just wow.

    And you know, in between calling Cal dirty and a cheater, their fans will from now on defend this whole scandal as something that happens at every school, and Pitino couldn’t have known (even if it happens at every school) and it was all 1 guy’s fault and the money he used came from a leprechaun.

    • UkfanMatt
      2:08 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      Love it. Your defense is that you used cheap hookers!!!

  8. shelby
    8:54 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    I do not understand why people think UL got hammered severely. Vacating wins and a title is NOT punishment; it is simply correction of records. Will the NCAA erase the memories of all the Tard fans? Will they drive around the city and confiscate all the championship flags, t shirts, banners, commemorative crown royal coozies and g strings? No, they won’t, because they can’t. Do u think Memphis fans deny their final four when they lost to Kansas? Of course not, they remember it, i remember it, it happened. Evidently This so-called punishment is only for the players who came to UL and received impermissible benefits…apparently the NCAA doesn’t even think the cards should be punished for buying sex for the recruits that didn’t sign with UL? What the hell? The cards, IMO didn’t even get ounished; where are the scholarship reductions? Where is another year of post-season ban? Where is the show cause label on rick pitino? And FIVE games? What a freaking joke.

    • JASUN74
      8:45 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      I agree. PeeTina should have been suspended for a year, a three year post season ban for the program, loss of six, five, and four scholarships for those years. I don’t even care about their banner, ‘although it will be a great day when it happens’,.. This isn’t going to do anything to them but to give them the ole , ‘let’s move on’, or that’s the past bull stuff. Lol. If it would’ve been us, it would have been a lot worse. Oh well. GO CATS

  9. jameehkyfan
    9:01 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    I guess when poles go up (stripper poles and we’ll you know), banners come down. So from now on to those ul fans I’m doing B’s down instead of L’s. The one thing pitino has that cal doesnt, actual suspensions for cheating. Being accused and not guilty sure feels good today. Karma karma karma. I have the joker smile right now. Mcdonalds….I’m lovin it. Lol

    • justaguyinthebackrow
      12:19 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      How do you make a “B”?

    • ukjaybrat
      8:42 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      easy to make a B. The problem is when it’s upside down, it’s still a B … 😀

  10. jameehkyfan
    9:03 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    When you play hide the banana, the ncaa plays hide the banner. Bahaha

  11. Kat4Life
    9:13 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Now…..on to North Carolina……there is some laundry that needs taken down in the Dean Dome ………

    • Luether
      12:38 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      Don’t think so…

    • UK Big Board Update
      3:27 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      Luether is probably really mad right now. First his football team, and now this? 😂😂😂

  12. Angelo
    9:27 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    I wonder what Jennifer Lawrence thinks of this… She recently did a pole dance in Germany.

  13. CATandMONKEY
    9:39 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Jay Williams and all the guys on OTL agreed that this was a cakewalk for Pitino.

  14. nicky
    9:59 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Thanks for all that TT….time consuming for sure…much appreciated!

  15. blueballs80
    10:18 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    Did Tricky Ricky Say ” I don’t recall” or ” I don’t remember” aka pull a Sessions LOL

  16. EdC
    10:23 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    I couldn’t even finish reading the NCAA text. Absolutely unbelievable that nobody speaking for UL seems to be showing any contrition whatsoever. How can any parents condone their kids going to a school that is apparently led by an administration that DEFENDS such an amoral cesspool?

  17. jaws2
    10:57 pm June 15, 2017 Permalink

    The most morally corrupt university in the country. Not just the athletics department. The entire university is a cesspool of corruption, deceit, and immorality. From FBI investigations of professors, hiring an adulterer to lead young men on the field, a head coach getting a blow job on a restaurant bench and paying for the abortion of the blower, pole dancers and ceiling squirters for recruits, to a foundation and university run like a mob enterprise.
    Hey, all schools do this right? I think they are getting off light. Frankly, the local media in loserville is culpable as well. They’ve turned a blind eye for years and been petrified to challenge the powers to be at uOFsmell. In the next few days just watch how they line up and defend the university. It’s truly pathetic.

    • JASUN74
      8:58 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      Haha. I hear ya bro. But If all he got was a BJ, I’m not sure he would have needed to pay for an abortion.

  18. catsandcanes
    3:51 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

    Probably unpopular opinion here: I feel like the punishment is fitting and just for the university. However, for the players of the team, I can’t help but feel bad for them. Maybe the only likable Lou team I can think of. It was hard not to pull for Siva and Dieng. Pitino should be hit hard, and the university should suffer harsher, maybe different punishment. Let any and all of the players transfer, strip Ricky P of his ring and wins, but (I know it doesn’t work this way) don’t hammer kids who at worst made some mistakes.

    • RealCatsFan
      6:40 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      The kids at Memphis and Umass confer, but the NCAA is not giving those wins back. As a UK fan who suffered through the Cats’ dark days from 88-90, I find it hard to muster a lot of sympathy. UK served a much more severe sentence for allegations that did not involve illegal activity. Most of those kids didn’t deserve that either. Kind of ironic that the man who led us out of that darkness is now involved in a worse scandal, but justice needs to be served.

    • 4everblue
      8:31 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

      I too suffered through those dark days and totally agree with RCF!

  19. Catsby80
    8:33 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

    As I’ve had some time to consider what all went on and after having read the excerpt about the 16 year old on the recruiting trip, I can’t help but be disgusted and embarrassed. I’m a UK fan, no doubt, but I’m also a Kentuckian. I live in Louisville and this is flat out embarrassing not only for the University of Louisville, but also for the city I live in and the state as a whole. Between the state audit and now this report, I am outraged and disgusted. I have to give Papa John some credit for distancing himself and his company from this cesspool that is the University of Louisville.

  20. za
    9:59 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

    I disagree with the last part of this article.

  21. Sentient Third Eye
    10:51 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

    Stretching credulity just to give Pitino the benefit of the doubt, the best that can possibly be said is that “maybe” he knew something underhanded was going on, but he was willfully ignorant and made sure he didn’t ask questions. But perhaps he thought it was only “regular” cheating, not something this extreme.

    The only reason I entertain this scenario as a possibility is because of the Minardi name and what it means to Rick. And yet, as much as I try, I still can’t believe he didn’t know more. He would have to be an idiot to not know. Ultimately, I think his ignorance is like the Clinton “Rose Law Firm” ignorance: it doesn’t pass the logic test. He, like they, must have been guilty because it is impossible to be that stupid and be in such a powerful position.

  22. Bluebloodtoo
    11:21 am June 16, 2017 Permalink

    Let’s see… I’m a plant manager and my midnight shift burns down the plant. When the VP calls me, I’m going to say ” That’s after my bedtime, so I can’t be held responsible for that”… and I’m fired. Bye….

  23. BluKudzu
    12:44 pm June 16, 2017 Permalink

    First and foremost, excellent post Mrs TT.

    16 and 17 year old children, given to prostitutes?

    Louisville valued this at $5400.00. I would think, $5400.00 will not even cover the legal expenses of the paper the lawsuits, which await, are printed on.

    Louisville has to try and fight this, as it bring potential liability that may have crippling effects for the University, and the people which will be stuck paying for it, from the rest of the commonwealth.

    This is not about the NCAA, this is to try and keep the parents of the children who were a part of this out of court, and settling at a lower cost. Once Louisville turns over the information, admits to wrong doing, it is over.

    Jurich allowed this to happen. He kept Pitino after his affair with the equipment manager’s wife.

  24. sardiscat
    2:49 pm June 16, 2017 Permalink

    The only truthful thing Pitino has said about this was his very first comment after the allegations first broke: “There is no way something like that could have been going on for four years in the University of Louisville basketball dormitory without me knowing about it.”