October 21, 2015 by gregrabidoux2013
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?