LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Three former University of Louisville men's basketball recruits told NCAA investigators that strippers danced for them and escorts were paid cash to have sex with them, according to a report out Sunday.
A source close to the NCAA investigation told ESPN's "Outside The Lines" that self-proclaimed escort queen Katina Powell "told the truth" in her book "Breaking Cardinal Rules" that rocked the UofL basketball program back in October.
Powell claims she pocketed at least $10,000 for providing prostitutes for sex parties that UofL players and recruits attended at Billy Minardi Hall, the dorm named after coach Rick Pitino's late brother-in-law. Five former players and recruits told ESPN in October that they attended the parties, including one who confirmed he had sex with an escort after she was paid.
"There's no question this stuff happened," the source familiar with the NCAA investigation told ESPN. "There's no question the people at the University of Louisville know this happened."
Powell claims she worked with former UofL player and staffer Andre McGee to arrange the parties between 2010-14.
The three recruits who spoke recently to NCAA investigators shared details about the amount of money McGee gave them to tip the women, according to the ESPN report.
"McGee gave the players a stack of dollar bills ranging from $200 to $500," the source told ESPN. "Everybody in the room got the money -- the recruits and the current members of the team. Not only that, but McGee himself had his own stack of dollar bills. If this guy's spending $2,000 to $3,000 on a recruiting weekend, where's this money coming from?"
Immediately after sportswriter Pat Forde broke the news of Powell's forthcoming book in October, McGee was suspended from his job as assistant coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City; he resigned weeks later. He has never spoken publicly about the matter and hadn't even been seen until ESPN's John Barr tracked him down in Kansas City and hired him as an Uber driver as Barr was compiling his report. McGee had no comment other than to direct Barr's questions to McGee's attorney.
Pitino has said from the beginning that he had no knowledge of the sex parties. The scandal is one of several recent missteps on the watch of UofL President Dr. James Ramsey, whose future at the school has become increasingly tenuous.
Hoping to lessen any future NCAA penalties, Ramsey announced last month a self-imposed postseason ban for the basketball team. The Cards missed the ACC Tournament in Washington this weekend and will not hear their names called on Selection Sunday today.
UofL closed its season in a loss at Virginia last week, ending at 23-8 and 12-6, finishing in fourth place in the ACC.