LETTER: Rick Pitino asks supporters to 'keep your spirits high' - WDRB 41 Louisville News

LETTER: Rick Pitino asks supporters to 'keep your spirits high' for NCAA appeal

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In a letter to donors of the University of Louisville, U of L men's basketball coach Rick Pitino opens up about the recent penalties imposed by the NCAA enforcement committee, and asks supporters to keep their "spirits high" about the upcoming appeals process.

The letter is dated June 21, 2017. In it, Pitino attempts to "clear up" factual allegations about the claims made in Katina Powell's book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen"

Powell claimed she hosted 22 stripping and sex parties from 2010 to 2014 inside Billy Minardi Hall, the on-campus dorm for athletes. She alleged that Andre McGee, director of basketball operations at the time, arranged the parties and paid her $10,000 for supplying dancers.

In his letter, Pitino reiterated his respect for Billy Minardi Hall and his desire that nothing untoward happen there.

"Billy Minardi Hall was built in memory of my best friend and brother-in-law who I lost on 9/11," Pitino wrote. "If I knew of anything that was going on there that would dishonor his name, that person wouldn't be able to get out of town fast enough."

He also disputed his ability to ask "pointed questions" of the people under him. The NCAA blamed this lack of questioning for Pitino's failure to uncover the details of the sex scandal and take action. 

He ended the letter by referencing lessons he learned from "improper things" he did "over twelve years ago" -- an apparent reference to the Karen Sypher sex scandal.

"Over twelve years ago, I hurt my wife and family by doing some improper things," Pitino wrote. "I paid a heavy price with them and The Lord. We, as a family, are closer today than ever before and my faith is stronger than at any point in my life. I'm in this game for one reason, and only one reason: to teach young men how to reach their potential on and off the court. You, our loyal Louisville family, can rest assured we believe in doing the right thing and doing things that are important in the eyes of God."

The full text of the letter is below:

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