UofL Fallout: McGee never mentioned stripper parties in NCAA interview

UofL Fallout: McGee never mentioned stripper parties in NCAA interview
Updated: Feb. 7, 2017 at 11:57 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Details included in UofL's 200-page response to the NCAA following its year-long investigation into the school's basketball program are leaving more questions.

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The NCAA interviewed former UofL player and staff member Andre McGee in 2014, near the end of the four-year period in which he allegedly arranged 15 parties attended by strippers, escorts, basketball players and recruits.

Most of the sex-for-cash parties took place at Minardi Hall, the UofL dorm named after coach Rick Pitino's late brother-in-law, a building that many athletes live in.

"My responsibility is really just kind of a watchdog for our players," McGee told NCAA officials in the February 2014 interview unrelated to the sex scandal that stretched from 2010-2014. "To make sure they're not doing anything they're not supposed to be doing. That's probably my primary duty as far as the dorm, making sure that they are complying with everything housing wants them to do."

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Katina Powell, the self-proclaimed escort queen whose tell-all memoir "Breaking Cardinal Rules" rocked the UofL campus in October 2015, claimed she worked in tandem with McGee to plan those parties, pocketing thousands of dollars for her efforts.

In its response to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, UofL argued that McGee's 2014 interview with the NCAA reinforces the school's stance, and Pitino's, that the legendary coach had no knowledge of the sex parties.

"McGee is the embodiment of the assistant bent on secretly violating NCAA rules," the school wrote, adding that Pitino should be cleared of any charges, in particular the critical Allegation No. 4, failure to monitor McGee.

David Ridpath, an expert on NCAA infractions and investigations, said he thinks McGee "is a bad person," but added that he doesn't think UofL or Pitino are off the hook just yet.

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"Recruiting is a very sensitive, high-risk area that head coaches have to be involved in," he told WAVE 3 News on Thursday. "And if Coach Pitino was not involved, and that was able to happen essentially in plain sight under his nose, in my view that's even worse."

UofL contends that its self-imposed postseason ban last year should be punishment enough, but the NCAA could still levy sanctions if it formally finds Pitino didn't properly monitor McGee.

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Ridpath said if such a judgment is made, any additional penalties likely would be no more than a suspension of a few games for Pitino. And the school could be slapped with a year of probation and perhaps a small scholarship reduction.

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