The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball program is treading water in a potential scandal surrounding the use of escorts by a former assistant coach to lure recruits to the program, and longtime coach Rick Pitino is at the forefront of it.
However, Pitino’s son, Richard, is the head coach at Minnesota and addressed the situation at Big Ten Media Day last week. Speaking to Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Pitino vehemently defended his father and Louisville’s program.
“When you hear things like that it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” he said. “… I don’t think any staff in the country would know about that and turn a blind eye. To me, it just, it never happened.
“The truth will come out eventually. Everyone is kind of guessing right now, they’re all allegations.”
“I know what my dad is all about, I know the program that he runs,” Richard Pitino said. “You’ve got to understand, he’s been doing this for 40 years — and he’s run a clean program for 40 years. I think he deserves the benefit of the doubt here.
“…I told him — put your head on the pillow at night knowing you did nothing wrong. I know that for a fact.”
The allegations come from local madam Katina Powell, whose book Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen states that former assistant coach Andre McGee paid her to provide “strip shows” and prostitutes as recruits took their official visits to Louisville’s campus.
Though nothing has really come of the allegations yet, especially since they were named in a book written by someone looking to profit financially from the story, it seems highly unlikely that the elder Pitino would be involved in something like this. He has long had a reputation for running a tight ship and even if said allegations are true, it’s hard to believe that he had any knowledge of it.
Just the same, Campus Sports will update this story as any new information becomes available.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports