For about a week now, Louisville fans have been waiting for the next major development in the Cardinal basketball scandal, hoping that such a development might not be coming. It would appear that moment has arrived.
Five former U of L basketball players and recruits confirmed to ESPN's "Outside the Lines" that they attended parties at a campus dorm from 2010-14 that included strippers paid for by former director of basketball operations Andre McGee. One of the players confirmed that he had sex with a dancer after McGee paid her.
One of the former players said he had sex with a dancer after McGee paid her. Each of the players and recruits attended different parties at Billy Minardi Hall, where dancers, many of whom stripped naked, were present. Three of the five players said they attended parties as recruits and also when they played for Louisville.
Said one of the recruits who ultimately signed to play elsewhere: "I knew they weren't college girls. It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club."
A book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,"published this month by self-described former escort Katina Powell, 42, details nearly two dozen stripping and sex parties from 2010-14 inside Billy Minardi Hall, the on-campus dorm for athletes and other students named for Louisville men's basketball head coach Rick Pitino's late brother-in-law. Powell, who first spoke to Indianapolis Business Journal Book Publishing, has said that McGee arranged the parties and paid her $10,000 for supplying dancers during the time period.
Powell told Outside the Lines in an extensive interview that McGee also supplied cash for "side deals," which included sex with some recruits, guardians who accompanied them on visits, and some Louisville players.
The former player who had sex with a dancer told Outside the Lines that McGee provided him with one-dollar bills to tip dancers and paid for one of the dancers to have sex with the player in a separate room. One of the other former players, who said he attended the parties as a recruit and player, said McGee "would give us the money, just the recruits. A bunch of us were sitting there while they danced. Then the players left, and the recruits chose which one [of the dancers] they wanted."
You can read the entire ESPN.com story here. The "Outside the Lines" story is airing both on the 8 a.m. SportsCenter and on the program itself at 1:30 p.m.
This is not going to be a great day for the Louisville basketball program.