Rick Pitino Says Andre McGee Needs to 'Tell the Truth'; Louisville AD Says Scandal Won't Cause Pitino to Resign | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / August 7.
  • Rick Pitino Says Andre McGee Needs to ‘Tell the Truth’; Louisville AD Says Scandal Won’t Cause Pitino to Resign

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    Oct 3, 2015; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino talks to the media following a scrimmage at KFC YUM! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

    Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

    Rick Pitino says Andre McGee needs to come forward and “tell the truth” about the sex scandal that has ensnared Louisville in national headlines.

    “I don’t know if any of this is true or not,” Pitino told ESPN’s Dana O’Neil by phone Tuesday. “There’s only one person who knows the truth, and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do the right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here.

    “He’s the only one with any answers. Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know. … Everything else is absurd. I don’t care about the legal issues. If he’s done something wrong, he has to own up to it and do his penance.”

    Meantime, Louisville AD Tom Jurich says the scandal won’t trigger a Pitino resignation.

    “Coach Pitino has no plans to step down, he has a long-term contract here and he absolutely did not know anything about the allegations,” Jurich said in a statement.

    Louisville madam Katina Powell made the rounds on various TV programs on Tuesday promoting her new book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” and a new ESPN report has several damning quotes from Powell and former Louisville recruits and players.

    “It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club,” one of five recruits or players interviewed told ESPN of his recruiting trip to Louisville, where Powell and her daughters reportedly danced for and performed sex acts with Louisville recruits at “nearly two dozen stripping and sex parties from 2010-14 inside Billy Minardi Hall.” The parties were allegedly organized by McGee, a former Louisville graduate assistant, but reportedly continued even after McGee left Louisville.

    Powell also indicates that Pitino may have known about the parties although he has steadfastly denied it.

    Powell said she asked McGee whether Pitino knew about the parties: “I said, ‘Does Pitino know about this?’ And he said, ‘He’s Rick. He knows about everything.'”

    While Powell said she has no first-hand knowledge Pitino knew about the parties, she finds it hard to believe he wouldn’t have: “Four years, a boatload of recruits, a boatload of dancers, loud music, alcohol, security, cameras, basketball players who came in [to the dorm] at will … “

    ESPN’s Cris Carter, a Hall of Fame NFL receiver who purports to have no inside knowledge of the Louisville scandal, made a strong statement regarding Pitino Tuesday morning on Mike & Mike.

    “You’re talking about the head of a company now, you’re talking about Louisville basketball,” Carter said. “Man, we’re not talking about Pepperdine, we’re not talking about Cal. We’re talking about Louisville basketball. A guy that’s won national championships, put a bunch of people in the NBA, one of the great CEOs out there, OK? Now to think that he didn’t know, it’s impossible. I’m going to say that. It’s impossible for Rick Pitino not to know if he was getting escorts delivered to his recruits in the dormitory that’s a private setting.”

    ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas believes otherwise.

    “I happen to believe that Rick Pitino didn’t know anything about this,” Bilas said on ‘Outside the Lines.”

    Pitino has repeatedly denied all knowledge of the parties.

    “Not myself, not one player, not one trainer, not one assistant, not one person knew anything about any of this,” the Hall of Fame coach told ESPN this month. “If anyone did, it would have been stopped on a dime. Not one person knew anything about it.”

    Richard Pitino, Rick’s son and the head coach at Minnesota, told OTL on Tuesday: “I can say 100 percent sure with zero doubt that Rick Pitino knew nothing about these alleged incidents.”

    Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard, a former Pitino assistant, also says Rick Pitino was not aware what was going on at the time.

    “Rick Pitino absolutely had no knowledge that these allegations were going on at anytime,” Willard told SNY.tv. “Anyone that has worked for Coach Pitino or is a friend of Coach knows this and supports him.”

    Meantime, there are several investigations going on, including one by Louisville and one by the NCAA.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.