ESPN: Former players and recruits confirm parties on U of L campus with strippers
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – “Breaking Cardinals Rule” author Katina Powell is now officially on the record.
On Tuesday, she spoke with ESPN's Outside the Lines, telling the show she partied with players and recruits for four years, on campus at the University of Louisville.
“Everything that I'm saying is 100 percent the truth," she said during the interview.
Outside the Lines reports that five former players and recruits confirmed that there were parties with strippers inside Billy Minardi Hall – but they all asked not to be identified.
Powell says that her escorts, including her own daughters, took part in 22 parties over four years beginning in 2010.
"I couldn't make this up if I wanted to," said Powell.
Powell claims that she was paid more than $10,000 by basketball assistant Andre McGee, who lived with the players in their dorm.
The allegations are now part of a criminal investigation, as well as an NCAA investigation.
"Andre was the one who always had the money … passed out the money, made it rain, made the deals, paid for the deals,” Powell told ESPN. “He would start the music and usually the girls would come out one by one."
Powell says Montrezl Harrell, Jaquan Lyle, Antonio Blakeney, Jordan Mickey, Terry Rozier all had sex on their recruiting visits -- arranged through what she called a "side deal."
"Andre would come to me, tell me what girl the recruit wanted,” said Powell. “I would tell the girl and she would say her price, I would tell him, he would say ‘ok’, and her and the recruit would do what they did behind closed doors."
Some of those escorts included Powell's three daughters, but she says they were not minors at the time the sex occurred.
Lindsay Powell, Katina’s daughter, says she did a side deal with Russ Smith. She told ESPN how it came about saying, “I believe that McGee came to my mom and my mom came and asked me and I was like, ‘OK’. And we went in another room and we had sex."
Lindsay's sister Rod-Ni claims she had sex with former player Montrezl Harrell.
Another former recruit told ESPN that he had sex with a dancer after McGee paid her.
Outside the Lines also revealed texts between Powell and McGee, and a $200 money order receipt that she said was an alleged payment for sex with a recruit. Both were outlined in her book.
Powell says she has a theory about whether Coach Rick Pitino knew about the parties.
"Four years, a boat load of recruits, a boat load of dancers, loud music, alcohol, security cameras, basketball players who came in at will, my thing is - how could he not know?"
In a written statement to WDRB, U of L athletics director Tom Jurich says, "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."
Powell's attorney told WDRB he was meeting with U of L attorneys on Tuesday, but has not said what was discussed.
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