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My Rick Pitino interview on UofL’s prostitution scandal; fans react to media spotlight

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino is under fire for alleged scandalous behavior between players, recruits, and their adult guardians with prostitutes. Prostitute/madam Katina Powell claims she brought multiple prostitutes into UofL’s Minardi Hall at the request of former director of basketball operations Andre McGee.

The salacious story is told in Powell’s book “Breaking Cardinal Rules.”

Hours before the radio interview, University of Louisville president James Ramsey issued a statement praising athletics director Tom Jurich without one word of support for Coach Pitino.

Also, CBS Sports quoted an unnamed source saying that Ohio State freshman JaQuan Lyle, a former Louisville recruit, acknowledged to the NCAA “the gist” of allegations of paid escorts.

Pitino had no idea any of this nonsense was going on. I’ve known him for 25 years and can assure you that he would STRANGLE an employee for doing anything of the sort. Nonetheless, people are overanalyzing his radio chat with me, searching for code words or signs of inconsistency.

He’s hurt. That’s it: lock, stock, and barrel. This is PTSD stuff for Rick.

National media has not been kind. Sports Illustrated blasted U of L for creating what it claims is a hostile environment for women. A female U of L senior took issue with that characterization in a blog post, although the comments section told at least one story that affirms the S.I. story.

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There is a significant difference between a giant media company and a university. Sports Illustrated is a subsidiary of Time Warner, which sells provocative products to earn dividends for stockholders.

The University of Louisville’s mission statement of “research university with a commitment to the liberal arts and sciences and to the intellectual, cultural, and economic development of our diverse communities and citizens” ducks the reality that it also sells sex through the pelvic thrusts of its acclaimed Ladybirds dance team.

So let’s take it down a notch on hating Sports Illustrated. Today’s school mission statement is to find out if prostitution took place on U of L’s campus and to take action to prevent it from happening again.

Some fans were not pleased with my radio interview, apparently unaware that Pitino and I talked the day before and I asked him whether he was thinking about resigning and other details that came out during the radio chat. (I mentioned the Wednesday private phone call multiple times on the radio leading up to the Thursday evening interview).


Members of the media understood the validity of my questions, and Rick Pitino’s wise choice to publicly stake out his turf (after the Lyle revelation and Ramsey snub).

My question about about the university president’s omission of support for his coach teed up a perfect response from the Hall of Famer.

Rick knows how to effectively deliver his message. He is hurt that someone under his employ would (allegedly) do something so reckless that it endangers the Louisville brand.

These rules are posted in the Cardinals practice facility.

"Cardinal Rules" posted for players in the Yum! practice center on campus
“Cardinal Rules” posted for players in the Yum! practice center on campus

Rick Pitino will survive this unseemly situation. Like I said in the interview, he is a planner. Rick is already three moves ahead of the current news cycle.

Planners become winners. Don’t get lost in today’s story. Rick has already prepared for tomorrow and the day after while most people are dazzled by today.

Rick Pitino, Ron Carmicle, Terry Meiners, and Brent Rice (October 2014)
Rick Pitino, Ron Carmicle, Terry Meiners, and Brent Rice (October 2014)
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