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Louisville escort to meet with NCAA for 2nd time


Katina Powell, the self-described former escort at the center of the Louisville men’s basketball recruiting scandal, will meet for a second time Monday with NCAA investigators, her attorney told Outside the Lines.

“Ms. Powell was contacted by the NCAA to meet to answer questions that have arisen during the course of the investigation,” attorney Larry Wilder said. “It seems that the NCAA is looking to close some of the newly opened doors.”

Powell first spoke with NCAA investigators in mid-November and has allowed them to review her personal journals and phone records, which served as the foundation for her tell-all book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.”

“When the NCAA met with Ms. Powell, initially she gave them access to her journals in order to corroborate her prior statements,” Wilder said.

The book details almost two dozen stripping and sex parties from 2010 to 2014 inside Louisville’s Billy Minardi Hall, the on-campus dorm for athletes and other students named for the late brother-in-law of Cardinals basketball coach Rick Pitino.

In October, five former Louisville basketball players and recruits told Outside the Lines that they attended parties at Minardi Hall that included strippers paid for by the team’s former graduate assistant coach, Andre McGee. One former player said he had sex with a dancer after McGee paid her.

A dancer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said she was paid roughly $300 for a night of stripping and one sexual encounter with a recruit.

Scott Cox, McGee’s Louisville-based attorney, did not respond Monday to a request for comment.

While Powell has been willing to meet with NCAA investigators, she remains unwilling to cooperate with University of Louisville police, who, according to a school spokesperson, are still actively investigating the case.

A spokesperson for the Jefferson County, Kentucky, Commonwealth Attorney’s office said Friday that the case remains open.

In late October, prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to, among others, the publishers of Powell’s book. Wilder told Outside the Lines that Powell has not been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury.

“The Commonwealth Attorney has made no request to interview Ms. Powell,” Wilder said when contacted Monday about the case. “The police contacted us early on, but we declined.”

Powell’s second meeting with investigators comes at a time when the Cardinals’ Hall of Fame coach, Rick Pitino, is considering his future.

After Saturday’s season-ending loss to Virginia, an emotional Pitino told ESPN senior writer Dana O’Neil that he will not rush into a decision about whether to return to Louisville for a 16th season.

“I intend to come back every year,” Pitino told O’Neil. “But I’ll take the time and ask myself, ‘Did I have fun? Can I do it again? How’s my health?’ Questions all coaches my age should ask themselves at the end of the year. Personally, I’d love to coach until I’m 83.”

In early February, school president James Ramsey, athletic director Tom Jurich and Pitino revealed that the Cardinals would self-impose a one-year ban from the NCAA tournament.

“This is a punishment I thought would never happen this season,” Pitino said at the time. “This is a decision that’s as harsh as anything I’ve seen.”

Pitino, Ramsey and Jurich all declined to comment for this story.

Pitino, 63, has maintained from the beginning that he was unaware of the parties at Minardi Hall.



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