CRAWFORD | Hancock speaks out, defends Pitino in face of Louisvi - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Hancock speaks out, defends Pitino in face of Louisville scandal allegations

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Different players, different styles. While Terrence Williams spoke out in his own defense and in defense of University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino in a colorful (to say the least) exchange with TMZ Sports Monday morning, Luke Hancock showed up at the studios of ESPN 680 AM and 93.9 The Ville FM in his business suit to talk about recent allegations surrounding the U of L basketball program.

Speaking with hosts Drew Deener, Marques Maybin and Howie Lindsey, Hancock, a captain on the 2013 NCAA championship team and Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Final Four, said that his initial reaction to a former Louisville escort’s claims in the book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules” was shock. Powell alleges that former director of basketball operations Andre McGee hired her 22 times for parties that included sex with recruits and players in the players’ dorm.

Hancock's name is not mentioned in the book, and he is not part of the allegations facing the program.

“I lived in Billy Minardi (Hall) for three years,” Hancock said. “I was captain of the basketball team. I played with those guys for three years. I had no idea. . . . I don’t think anybody had more fun in college than I did. I never did anything like this, I never saw anything like this, especially not in the dorms. If you went off campus and were hanging out, even then I would never have thought about anything like this happening.”

Hancock said there were girls in and out of the dorm, to be sure. He said he never saw Katina Powell in the dorm, and had never even heard her name until the book was released a little more than a week ago.

He’s now a financial advisor at Lamkin Weath Management in Louisville, and said he has texted support to Pitino several times but hasn’t had a conversation with him lately.

He described McGee’s involvement with recruits as minimal.

“He didn’t really have a big role,” Hancock said. “He was making itineraries, making sure they were where they were supposed to be when they were there.”

Hancock also said Pitino’s attitude toward compliance and recruiting rules was absolute, including on his own visit, when he bought his own plane ticket, and asked to reschedule an accounting exam at George Mason.

“I just know coach would have an idea or something in his head about what he wanted to do with a player or recruit, but was always turning to an assistant coach and saying, ‘Are we allowed to do this with them, are we allowed to drive them.?’” Hancock said. “He was always turning to assistants and saying, ‘Check on that for me.’”

Hancock said he spoke with teammate Stephan Van Treese on Sunday and asked if he could mention that conversation. He said Van Treese said he had no knowledge of anything of this sort happening in the dorm.

He said that as a captain, if there were issues with the team that required a coach to be involved, he would first go to an assistant, particularly Richard Pitino. “Coach (Rick) Pitino kind of handles things once they get to his level, would be a good way to put it.”

Asked how he might’ve responded to this kind of activity as a captain, Hancock said, “I don’t know. I think I would’ve gone to Coach Pitino, but I wasn’t put in that situation. I just didn’t know.”

Hancock acknowledged how much he thinks of Pitino, and stated that after thinking about whether to speak publicly, decided he wanted to show some public support for his coach.

“I had no idea this was happening. I would bet my life that Rick Pitino didn’t know this was happening. If any of this is proved true, I’m betting it’s isolated incidents,” Hancock said. “. . . Rick Pitino is somebody that I love. He’s been a father figure to me, especially after I lost my dad in our championship year. I’m in his corner. He’s a great person, and I want to support him.”

You can listen to the entire 20-minute interview here.

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