Louisville’s Rick Pitino not attending ACC media day amid scandal

Friday October 23rd, 2015

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will not attend ACC media day Wednesday amid the recruiting scandal surrounding the Cardinals program, the school announced Friday.

The Cardinals are sending players Damion Lee, Mangok Mathiang and Trey Lewis, reports ESPN’s Dana O’Neil. Lee and Lewis are graduate transfers. The statement says that Pitino will not attend the annual event on advice of legal counsel.

Pitino released a statement Thursday apologizing to fans and making clear he will not resign, amid allegations that that Andre McGee, a former member of the Louisville coaching staff, paid for escorts to dance for recruits during their campus visits and in some cases, have sex with them. These events were detailed in a book released this month co-written by Katina Powell, who says she is a former escort who led the operation.

The NCAA and Louisville campus police are investigating the book’s claims, which were corroborated by an ESPN report Tuesday that included interviews with five former Cardinals players and recruits.

Pitino has denied any involvement in or knowledge of the situation. McGee resigned from his job as an assistant coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Friday. SI's Pete Thamel and Thayer Evans reported earlier this month that the NCAA was reaching out to multiple recruits from the period to ask about the allegations.

Rick Pitino: I will not resign

“I don’t know if any of this is true or not,” Pitino said Monday, according to ESPN. “There’s only one person who knows the truth and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do the right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here. He’s the only one with any answers.”

Former recruit Terry Rozier, who the book names as one of several recruits to have sex with an escort during a visit to Louisville, has also said he believed Pitino was not aware of the parties. The former players and recruits who spoke with ESPN’s Outside the Lines said they attended parties at which escorts were present during that time period, and that McGee gave them money to tip the dancers and to pay for them to have sex.

• ROSENBERG: Louisville created, nurtures dangerous culture for women

Jeremy Woo

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.