Instead of standing up and being the leader of the University of Louisville basketball program, he is doing everything he can to distance himself from the sex scandal that has exploded around his program.
In the book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” written by Katina Powell, 42, a former escort, chronicles almost two dozen parties with recruits from 2010 to 2014 that included strippers and sexual encounters.
According to the book, the parties were set up and paid for by Andre McGee, a graduate assistant for the Cardinals’ basketball team. Powell claims that McGee paid her nearly $10,000.
And now, there are reports of recruits acknowledging that the parties did indeed take place. One former recruit said it was “Like being at a strip club.”
And, poor Pitino. He said, as vehemently and outraged that he could pretend to be, that he knew nothing about the parties. And then the man who will make nearly $5 million coaching the Cardinals this year, threw McGee under the bus.
”I don’t know if any of this is true, or not,” Pitino said in media reports. “There’s only one person who knows the truth, and (Andre McGee) needs to come out and tell the truth.”
However, when you make the kind of money Pitino makes, ignorance is not a good enough answer. Even if he didn’t know _ which I seriously doubt _ he is ultimately responsible.
Pitino is paid millions to win basketball games, but at the end of the day his most important job is to watch over and protect the young men that are part of his basketball program.
He is the man that looked the parents of those kid’s parents in the face, and said “We will watch over your babies.” Now, he may not have said it just like that, but in essence, he promised to take responsibility.
Pitino takes on responsibilities for their actions. Now, that doesn’t mean that he is responsible every time a kid misses curfew, or doesn’t go to class.
But when there is some stuff as devious as this going on, he is responsible, not some grad assistant. I have a daughter who works as a grad assistant in a Division I program. They don’t have access to the kind of money McGee is accused of spending, and they don’t go off on their own acting in behalf of the program. They are really, minions who do the bidding of their superiors.
At the very least, Pitino should be suspended until this investigation is over. And, if it is found those parties actually took place, and then he should be fired.
Nothing else can save the integrity of the University of Louisville basketball program.