CRAWFORD | Hurry up and wait: Louisville hoops allegations week in review
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Sometimes, investigations require an annoying amount of patience. That’s been the case quite a bit this week when it came to developments — or lack thereof — in the allegations surrounding the University of Louisville basketball program.
Thursday was a case in point. It was deadline day for a grand jury subpoena for the IBJ Book Publishing division, publisher of “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.” But the information that was requested was sent to the office electronically, or by mail or courier, so there was no in-person appearance — not that anyone would’ve spoken to the media anyway.
Nor did an executive session of U of L’s board of trustees provide any real update on the situation — though this was no surprise. I didn’t attend the meeting, nor did Rick Bozich. Nor, for that matter, did any WDRB sports staffer, or U of L vice president of athletics Tom Jurich, who was out of town. If the matter came up, it wasn’t the primary purpose of the meeting. It didn’t stop board chair Dr. Larry Benz from fielding plenty of questions about the subject.
Nor, surprisingly, did it stop The Associated Press from saying that the trustees were “expected” to discuss the situation.
By whom? By people on Twitter? By some in the media? By ESPN? Sometimes my own business frustrates me. The media sets a narrative, then when events don’t match it, the reporting describes the “unexpected” nature of whatever actually happened.
Maybe, you know, sometimes the media’s expectations are wrong in the first place.
A source close to Louisville’s investigation told me they expect the school’s investigation to run through January, at least. And perhaps a little longer.
So we’re in for more waiting.
— When the NCAA might have a notice of allegations is anyone’s guess. From then, the timetable firms up. But these are not easy things to get at, from any side. How in the world the NCAA will determine a dollar amount on some of these things is going to be fascinating in itself.
In the case of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro, who, among other things, provided periodic trips to strip clubs for recruits, players or even coaches over a seven-year period, the NCAA made no attempt to fix a dollar amount that I could find, instead throwing its penalties to the broader “failure to monitor” and “lack of institutional control” charges.
In the case of U of L, it won’t be merely that events happened (if that turns out to be the case), that determines its penalty in those two areas of monitoring and institutional control, but the NCAA will then look at U of L’s monitoring systems, its atmosphere of compliance both generally and in men’s basketball, and in general look at the program’s compliance measures with a fine-tooth comb. As the NCAA said in its Miami infractions letter:
“In assessing whether a member lacks institutional control, the committee considers whether adequate compliance measures exist; whether those compliance measures were appropriately conveyed to those who need to be aware of them; whether the compliance measures are monitored to ensure they are followed; and whether upon learning that a violation may have occurred, the institution takes timely and appropriate action.”
That’s one reason U of L moved so quickly upon learning the book was coming out — even before the school knew the substance of the allegations.
On top of the NCAA process, which can be lengthy, if legal proceedings were to begin against any of the parties involved, that could stretch the process out further.
— One of the significant pieces of news this week was the hearing for Katina Powell’s youngest daughter, known in the book as Shay, stemming from a prostitution arrest in Louisville on June 19 of last year. She is due back in court in January.
But Powell’s daughter also is wanted in Indianapolis after a prostitution arrest there on June 4, 2014. The last court action shows a warrant issued for her arrest after a failure to appear on Feb. 20 of this year.
Shay Powell, who now goes by the stage name of Chloe Cash, posted an item on a Facebook page purporting to be hers on Friday night. In it, while voicing support for her mother, she also directly contradicted most of the story her mother told about her rebellious teenage years.
A screen shot of the post:
-- One question that kept being asked of Benz after Thursday's trustee meeting was whether the university isn't suffering an undue amount of image and public relations damage as it sorts through its various investigations. That point is difficult to argue against. A certain amount of scandal creep is unavoidable.
The women's volleyball team has been heckled over the stripper/escort controversy on the road, and it has nothing to do with the allegations. A U of L student already has filed for damages against Powell and her publisher, claiming their book diminishes the value of her degree.
Benz chose to focus on the positive, and noted that athletics is just a small part of any university.
But it's a big part of any university's national exposure, for better or worse.
That's about it for this week. Stay tuned. Next week could be interesting.
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