Rick Pitino, Katina Powell weigh in on self-imposed postseason b - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Rick Pitino, Katina Powell weigh in on self-imposed postseason ban

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville men's basketball head coach Rick Pitino spoke with ESPN about Louisville's tournament ban and his future, just before Katina Powell talked to Kentucky Sports Radio with graphic details of the scandal.

She admits she didn't think it would go this far.

"I didn't think that it would go to the extent that it has went to, I never, regardless of what I knew, I never wanted to ruin anything for anybody. I told a story," said Katina Powell.

Powell's story, detailed in the book "Breaking Cardinal Rules," claims team members paid her to arrange for sex with escorts.

An internal investigation led the University of Louisville to ban itself from postseason play, ruining the chance for young Louisville basketball players to compete in the NCAA tournament.

It's a punishment Pitino doesn't agree with.

"Schools need to be fined heavily and they can't take that money from anywhere away from other programs," Pitino said on ESPN. "They need to be fined heavily. Coaches need to get their salaries deducted, 20 percent, 30 percent, 40 percent, whatever. I'd work for free if we could have this NCAA Tournament for these guys."

However, Louisville's decision has been made.

"The only thing I'm heartbroken about is I have a difficult time just talking to my team right now, because I know their dreams have been shattered." said Pitino.

Just a couple of hours after Pitino spoke to ESPN, Katina Powell did an interview on Kentucky Sports Radio, saying she also feels badly for transfers Trey Lewis and Damion Lee.

"They did nothing, I didn't know of those guys, they had nothing to do with this, they had nothing to do with it whatsoever, and it seems like it comes down on me because they can't play in the tournament," said Powell. 

When asked if Powell feels badly for Pitino, she answered, "Do I feel bad? No."  

"I am not mad at Rick Pitino, I have no reason to be mad at Rick, Rick has done nothing personally to me, I have never talked to Rick," said Powell.

But when Mike and Mike talked to Pitino on ESPN, they asked about his future plans.

"My future is really irrelevant and unimportant. It's the University of Louisville that I care about," said Pitino.

He said when the time comes to say goodbye to Louisville or to basketball, it won't be because of Katina Powell.

"It's not going to be because of this, because in the end, I think I'll be totally vindicated and people will understand how it happened. But I'll let the enforcement people, I'll let the NCAA come to those conclusions, and I'll just keep doing my job," said Pitino.

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