The gift that refuses to stop giving is at it again.
A report from Chris Otts of WDRB reveals that during a deposition last month, former U of L board of trustees chairman David Grissom alleged that former U of L President James Ramsey told him that a university trustee was the source of the payments for the Minardi Hall stripper parties that ultimately cost Louisville its 2013 national championship banner.
“He (Ramsey) told me that one of his board members was the cash source for paying off the strippers in the stripper incident,” Grissom said during the deposition.
When asked who the board member was, Grissom told attorneys that he never asked and that Ramsey never told him.
Steve Pence, the attorney for Ramsey, has vehemently denied Grissom’s account.
Ramsey’s lawyer Steve Pence said Monday that Grissom’s story is “ridiculous” and merely an attempt to “justify (Grissom’s) behavior” in pursuing the baseless lawsuit against Ramsey.
“I can give you 100% assurance that that (information about the board member) did not come from Dr. Ramsey,” Pence told WDRB News.
But during the deposition in July, Pence persistently questioned why Grissom didn’t report what Ramsey told him about the source of the payments to the board, the athletics department or to U of L compliance officials.
When Pence asserted that Grissom had an obligation under “NCAA regulations” to share the information, Grissom said: “I get that. I did not have any information other than what Ramsey told me. It’s hearsay, and I don’t know who the person was.”
Grissom added that he did not have “the same duty” to report the allegation as Ramsey did.
Finally, when asked why he didn’t tell anyone about Ramsey’s comment, Grissom said: “Well, I didn’t. I am not perfect.”
That last line is an important reminder that at some point, every deposition transcript ever recorded reads like two sixth graders in a mediation session after a playground fight.
So what does this all mean? Who the hell knows. If it somehow winds up being proven that the president the university and the chairman of its board of trustees both knew where the money funding the Minardi stripper parties was coming from and withheld said information from the NCAA, well, that might be something the NCAA would want to look into. If Ramsey continues to deny this during his own deposition (which you’d assume would be happening soon) and this remains a he said/he said deal, the NCAA might be less willing to dive back into a case they’ve already shut the door on. Especially considering that the organization’s plate isn’t exactly bare at the moment.
Regardless of all this, Louisville is going to be really good at basketball in the season that begins 85 days from today. That is cool.