Katina Powell's attorney: NCAA 'sending a message'

Katina Powell's attorney: NCAA 'sending a message'

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The attorney for the woman whose memoir rocked the UofL basketball program said the NCAA was "sending a message" in its report that UofL released Thursday.

The NCAA gave UofL its Notice of Allegations back in October and the university responded in January, saying it supports men's basketball head coach Rick Pitino and it fought back against the serious violation of "failure to monitor".

In a 118-page response sent to the school March 17, the NCAA rejected the school's defense.

"The NCAA seems to be sending a pretty clear message," Larry Wilder, Katina Powell's attorney said Friday.

The NCAA said Pitino failed to look for red flags.

"If Pitino saw no red flags in connection with McGee's interactions with then prospective and current student-athletes, it was because he was not looking for them," the NCAA's latest report said.

Wilder called the response vindication for Powell.

"It is time for this athletic program to embrace the mistakes that were made," Wilder said. "You don't have to embrace her choices. You don't
have to embrace her conduct, but she was vilified as a liar who made up these stories. She told the truth."

Throughout the report, the NCAA repeated that "Powell provided credible factual information."

The university only argued a few points in the four Level I violations.

>>UofL Scandal: Full coverage here

The school disputed how much was paid, but NCAA flatly said, "arranging and funding sexual intercourse for a prospective student-athlete…is wholly inconsistent with NCAA principles, whether valued at $80 or $120."

The school also argued the violations are out of the norm for the program, but again, the NCAA said, "the institution's violation history speaks for itself."

UofL released a statement Thursday again blaming Andre McGee.

"We continue to regret that NCAA legislation was violated by a former UofL employee. His behavior was shameful and wrong. This behavior is the reason we self-imposed severe penalties on ourselves. In this latest correspondence, the NCAA Enforcement Staff's Response reiterates its previous position and, in fact, makes clear that the allegation does not state that Coach Pitino should have detected or known about the violations. We have faith in the NCAA process and look forward to demonstrating at the hearing that Coach Pitino properly monitored his staff."

Wilder said he's preparing in case Powell faces more than just blame.

"If they're both charged, which they will need to be both charged, then they will need to be treated no differently than any other citizen," Wilder said referring to McGee and Powell.

A spokesperson for the Commonwealth's Attorney said the office is still reviewing and investigating the case against Powell.

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The university also tried to argue it cooperated fully, but the NCAA said UofL only did what it had to.

UofL self-imposed a postseason ban in February 2016 to lessen sanctions the NCAA might administer.

The next step is a hearing in front of the NCAA's committee on infractions likely to take place this summer but not date has been set.

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