Over the years, there have been many NCAA scandals but no scandal was bigger than the one involving former Louisville Basketball Head Coach Rick Pitino. After a two-year long investigation, Coach Pitino was fired for several scandals.
In 2015, Katrina Powell, a former escort, wrote a book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.” In this book, Powell revealed how parties were thrown by former graduate assistant coach Andre McGee. These parties involved escorts and potential Louisville recruits.
According to USA TODAY Sports, Pitino said, “I don’t know if any of this is true or not.” Pitino also told ESPN and Yahoo! Sports, “There’s only one person who knows the truth, and (McGee) needs to come out and tell the truth.”
That following season the University of Louisville basketball team punished themselves by refusing to play in the 2016 NCAA tournament. Pitino was suspended for five games and wins were vacated involving ineligible players. Pitino is currently involved in a corruption scandal with Adidas.
According to USA TODAY Sports, an FBI investigation alleges that a coach from a public research university in Kentucky, that matches the description of Louisville, paid $100,000 to a basketball recruit’s family. The school later acknowledged that the men’s basketball recruiting was part of the investigation.
Pitino commented on the situation and said, “These allegations come as a complete shock to me. If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorney’s Office that these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and their basketball programs, including the University of Louisville.
“Our fans and supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”
Pintino’s legacy as a great college basketball coach is tarnished. He had won 2 NCAA Championships, had made it to the Finals Four seven times, and had a 770–269 record as a head coach. It is sad to see a legend that many look up to go down in such an ugly way.