Hoops, Hookers and the Cardinal Sins of Louisville


October 21, 2015 by gregrabidoux2013

pitino and mascot

Sex, drugs, booze? No one told me!

Did you hear the one about how Harvard paid for strippers, booze and drugs to recruit a top Mathematics Whiz to ensure that their Crimson Calculators won the big NCAA Division I Math Bowl?

Yeah, me neither.

However, the University of Louisville Cardinals NCAA Division I basketball program is in the news this week. And not for the quality of their players or their pre-season ranking (#30 btw).

Nope, the Cardinals basketball program has been, um, laid bare and exposed to the world for its off the court activities. This included; according to Ms. Katina Powell, a former adult escort, exotic dancer and prostitute (what show biz execs call a triple threat) being hired to dance naked for basketball recruits and players, perform a variety of sexual acts and engaging in intercourse with at least 3 players. This allegedly occurred right on the campus of good ol’ Louisville U in the student dormitories. Several former players have now admitted that these activities happened on several occasions where booze, drugs and the aforementioned sex was supplied gratis to both underage and of-age student-athletes by former Graduate Assistant and Cardinal B-Ball player, Andre McGee. Unbelievably, one of the rationales for organizing such “parties” on campus and in the players’ dormitories was to ensure safety and that no one would drive drunk or high.

pitino and powell

Ms. Powell, the Head stripper, dance and prostitute, aka, Triple Threat.

Well, as long we are all putting the health, well-being and safety of the student-athletes first, right?

Now, putting aside the obvious, or what I hope is obvious, that this is absolutely disgraceful and that everyone involved from the basketball operations, to the Head Coach to the Athletic Director to the President should simply have the decency to tender their resignations, the media narrative has solidly been crafted into the following;

Gee, will Head Coach Rick Pitino survive this scandal? Will this “incident” tarnish his Hall of Fame credentials?

No shock. No outrage. No, sense of does this kind of BS (and I don’t mean bachelor of science) really go on at these athletic programs.

Nope again.

And that may be the real tragedy here, folks.

Now, Mr. Pitino has predictably denied all knowledge and is now calling upon the former Graduate Assistant and player, Mr. McGee (who since moved onto another college team-University of Missouri) and is an assistant coach there, to “tell the truth.”

Ah, the truth. A fickle friend if ever there was one for Ricky P.


Man, Coach K must be better at covering stuff up than me. Or maybe he is just, you know, better.

This is the same “leader” who rakes in the big bucks as a motivational speaker and author of such books as “Success is a Choice,” and “Lead to Succeed.” In his books he says that ethics, honesty and moral integrity are keys to his success and for anyone anywhere. And that marriage is an institution that must be cherished.

Maybe he meant the marriage of another guy and that guy’s wife.

Because this is the same guy who committed adultery on his wife with the wife of the team’s equipment manager, one Karen Sypher. Seems the waiter was slow with their appetizers and so they did what any good, upstanding patrons would do-they had sex on the table at the restaurant (the fact it was Pitino’s own restaurant, Porcini’s” just makes it even creepier). While at least one server was still in the diner.

Coach Pitino later admitted under oath that he did give at least $3,000 to Mrs. Sypher so she could “do the right thing” and get a secret abortion. He also claimed he was extorted by the now Ms. Sypher (she at least realized her marriage was in trouble) for “hush money.” This led to an FBI investigation which led to, well, let’s just say if I want Pizza when I am in Louisville I’ll avoid Porcini’s and choose Pizza Hut.

Yes, the same role model who claims he had no knowledge of the booze, drugs and sex right under his nose at Louisville is now calling on Mr. McGee to “do the right thing.” How noble of him.no

Well, Andre, you know, you do need to lead to succeed after all.

superbowl ted

Go Cardinals! Pitino’s got the next round.

Look, I don’t know with certainty if Pitino knew or didn’t know and honestly, it shouldn’t matter. As he has preached for years, if you lead you are accountable. If you don’t know what your employees, your team is doing then shame on you.

So, shame on you Rick Pitino for either knowing and looking the other way or not knowing and being apparently so out of touch that you ceded leadership and responsibility to graduate assistants, underage student-athletes and professional strippers, prostitutes and folks who get illegal drugs for such parties, in the old days we used to call them drug dealers. Maybe in NCAA circles they are now called “party professionals,” I don’t know.

pitino coaching

Geez, when will this game end? I gotta party to get to.

I do know this. Sadly, NCAA I programs like the Louisville Cardinals stopped being about student-athletes and started being all about money a long time ago. And when that happened in came all the sleaze that always comes in the door with gobs of money and greed. And out the door went those precious morals and integrity that Mr. Pitino piously and hypocritically preached to us for years. At least he made tons of money doing that, just in case, he ever needs more hush money.

To answer the frenzied media concern over Rick’s survival-that’s easy.

Of course he’ll survive. Either in Louisville or someplace else with a basketball court and young players and minds to mold. Because along with success being a  choice winning is indeed everything. And Pitino is a winner at hoops.

He just wouldn’t ever be welcome in my living room on any recruiting trip.

How about yours?





79 thoughts on “Hoops, Hookers and the Cardinal Sins of Louisville

  1. Lexis L says:

    I believe that there is a lot that happens behind closed doors when it comes to student-athletes. I’ve heard many stories of Division I athletes that do not even show up for class, therefore they would be ineligible to even participate. It seems that there is a loop hole around certain scenarios. I think this situation at Louisville it pretty awful. I believe that the head coach, Rick Pitino, advised his players to do whatever it takes to get a recruit to sign with their program. I think it truly tarnished his reputation and program. As for the woman that brought up this issue, it is possible that she is making some of the stories up, however, I tend to believe her when it comes to the evidence. I think it is disgusting how she had her own children involved. Many people speculated that Pitino would retire after this scandal. It is definitely a bad way to end especially when he has ran such a successful program.

  2. Ethan says:

    I feel like this occurs more then we know. It is the most ridiculous thing i have ever heard because the fact that school money is paying for those and I think the school, the players and the team should get in trouble and possibly get terminated.

  3. Welch says:

    Dr. R

    Several of the points you raised begs the question, what is happening to our society? Gone are the days of ‘Father knows best’ to be replaced by mentors like Rick Pitino. As you so demonstrated in your blog, they are hypocrites. They expound morals but do not practice what they preach. I believe that I am like most parents, in that, I want what is best for my kids. I want my children to get a good education. However, the thought of sending them off to college scares the mess out of me. I am especially concerned that these incidents will become common place in today’s liberal/ politically correct society and thereby desensitize everyone to how immoral these practices are.

  4. Kelly S says:

    We are living in a time and age where nothing surprises me, especially incidents such as this. By any means necessary is very popular and not in a positive light either. Mr. Pitino may very well have had the best intentions for his department and players but failed in the objective to teach moral responsibility and integrity. He was fully aware of the character that he was trying to portray (a more socially acceptable) versus who he really is. And sometimes that can be a battle within itself. As for the players involved, I feel sorry for them for selling their soul for the sport and to be looked upon as a true team player. Those words get thrown around a lot, especially in the workplace setting. All teams aren’t good teams and all leaders aren’t meant to lead!

  5. Ashley K. says:

    The whole system is corrupted. When you have teams that generate millions of dollars in funding for a school, and coaches that are paid millions for their own yearly salary, there is bound to be corruption on some level. When you add in the rules about not paying student athletes, it opens the door to incentives that are at least morally questionable, if not illegal. If you expect student athletes to commit levels of effort to a team that are close to effort expected of professional athletes and then do not pay them or allow them to receive money from endorsements, etc., those coaches and institutions have to come up with other incentives. That is where the system fails these athletes and it’s why I’m never surprised when these stories of widespread corruption come to light.

  6. I love the way you open this blog post! It’s sad that schools are willing to go to such lengths to support a sports program. I just really don’t understand it. Although I suppose it comes down to money.

  7. T Leggett says:

    Well – I don’t even know why I’m shocked by all of this. But I am, it’s a disturbing trend in our society where there is a double standard for social faux pas when it comes to Athletics/Athletes period. This takes me back to the Ray Rice elevator assault of his now wife Janay Rice where it took the nation being outraged by Ray’s actions and additional video footage of the incident before Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner, would take appropriate action; Mr. Goodell originally gave Ray Rice only a two-game suspension for his infractions even though the first video footage while not as violently explicit as the second still provided enough evidence to let a discerning individual know that nothing good had occurred. So to answer your question, no Rick Pitino would not be welcome in my living room on any recruiting trip but it really doesn’t matter because no matter the outcome he will be just fine unless there is enough public outrage and I just don’t see that happening here.

  8. Elisa Etienne says:

    I remember seeing this in the news and it didn’t shock me in the least. Even in High school there’s a double standard that applies to Athletes. I remember there being a number of athletes in my school who barely did homework and got better grades than most.

  9. valdostaphil says:

    The topic here seems to address two separate things, one directly and one indirectly. So I’ll address both. Pay the kids. They’re employees who wind up on the covers of video games with the royalties going to some shadow organization who then says they can’t be fed as fair compensation for all their hard work. They’re employees. There’s no other way to look at it.

    And while we’re at it, legalize and dignify sex work, tax it as income, and regulate it with regular testing of all practitioners who lose their license permanently if they test positive for anything. The crime surrounding the sex industry would dissipate and leave only reputable contractors with paid security and clerical staff, tax bases would increase, and STD rates per capita would drop.

  10. Kathy J says:

    Yes indeed, Coach Pitino to this day is still coaching the Cardinals’ contrary to media reports that his contract allowed him to be fired for “acts of moral depravity or misconduct that damages the university’s reputation”. The coach admitted and testified that he had sex with Mrs. Sypher and therefore committed adultery. But hey, he apologized for his indiscretion. I find this concerning given the fact that he is supposed to be a leader and mentor to young adults. What message does the lack of action taken by the University send to the students? A message that the Coach’s behavior was acceptable or maybe it is okay to behave immorally as long as you later apologize. What message does it send about acceptable sexual behavior on campus?
    I agree with Dr. Rabidoux that sports, “stopped being about student-athletes and started being all about money a long time ago.”

  11. Kaitlynn F says:

    The sad thing about this situation, is that I am not surprised by any of this. When big money is involved, moral responsbility seems to go out the window. From the top down, this is a problem across the nation in athletics, specifically big time programs. Their books, speeches, and wins look good on paper. Creating a legacy provides leeway and unconditional support. The more wins and money brought it, the less they have to worry about getting fired. This same kind of “ego”, per se, carries down unto the athletes. Many act as they will because they know their talent at that level is needed. Even if they get in trouble, another school will take them in a heart beat. A lot of issues stem from the idea that big time programs are untouchable.

  12. Gabe Frisbie says:

    I agree on your take Pitino. I think it is laughable that he says he had no knowledge of what was going on when recruiting is so important to their success. Especially being a coach myself I realize how paranoid we can be about things and want to know everything. I think its funny all the Pitino stories you hear of him knowing every little detail and then not knowing about something this big it doesn’t add up. Pitino has always had morals in question but sadly as you have said there will be no outrage as long as he wins games and makes the school money.

  13. Daniel T says:

    A few weeks ago, this disaster finally came to an end. People always have conspiracy theories that sports are a giant scam. One of the topics leading that charge is discussing how corrupt college basketball is. To me, it’s the biggest joke in sports. Top recruits every year go to “college” for one year to prepare for the NBA. They come in, play one season and are gone. To me, it’s a waste of time for the players and waste of money for the universities. These players are put in the easiest classes on campus to make sure they maintain eligibility for the season. Once their season comes to an end, they put the books down and hardly ever come back to finish their degree.

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