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    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Men's Basketball Facebook Page
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    Hookers. A self-proclaimed madam. A top-level college basketball program.

    It sounds salacious. It sounds lewd. It sounds like something you see after midnight on Cinemax.

    It’s also something you can now find in a new book entitled Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen. It’s written by Louisvillian Katina Powell, the aforementioned madam, with the help of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, and it reportedly details how a former University of Louisville men’s basketball staff member paid her to provide sex for UofL players, recruits and in some cases recruits' fathers. 

    That former staffer was Andre McGee, who played for the Cardinals from 2005-09, was a graduate assistant under Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino from 2010-12 and the team’s Director of Basketball Operations from 2012-14. According to Powell, the former UofL point guard was the point man in these off-the-court activities and he paid her thousands of dollars over a four-year period to provide women - including three of her own daughters - for private parties at Billy Minardi Hall (the UofL men’s basketball dorm).

    At a hastily scheduled news conference Friday afternoon, shortly after Yahoo Sports writer Pat Forde broke the story, UofL Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich said he was “disappointed, surprised and shocked,” by the allegations. “To say I’m disheartened and disappointed would probably be the biggest understatement I’ve made since I’ve been a coach,” Pitino said in his usual form of hyperbole, before later adding:. “My heart’s just been taken out of my body and broken.

    “It’s mind-boggling to me that all this can go on,” Pitino said. “I read the statement the publishing company (Indianapolis-based IBJ Book Publishing, LLC) sent out, it made me sick to my stomach.”

    The big question, or course is, did this really go on at UofL? And if it did, at any level, who knew about it?

    At the press conference Pitino declared ignorance, but didn't actually deny the book's allegations. 

    “Not one of us has even heard anything about anyone even being out with the wrong people,” he said.

    Pitino also said he spoke with McGee once before UofL’s NCAA compliance people “shut” him down. In that conversation, though, Pitino said that, “at no time did he (McGee) own up to what’s being printed right now.”

    Is what’s being printed true? You have to be crazy to think that things like what Powell described don't go on at college campuses across the country, but did they go on at UofL? 

    McGee’s attorney Scott Cox, who even went as far to call Powell “a whore” in a Friday evening news conference, says no.

    Here’s what we know, we don’t know enough yet. However, some of the early excerpts from the book, which include photos of Powell with former players and text messages from McGee (who could end up being the "fall guy," and not like Lee Majors), are damning.

    Only time will tell if any, or all, of these allegations are true. However one thing we already know is this, it sounds like something more meant for late-night Showtime than a big-time college basketball program. 

    Photo courtesy University of Louisville Men's Basketball Facebook Page

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