Muhammad Ali ‘Stands Behind’ Louisville Despite Scandal

The Louisville Lip gave Louisville a hand.

“From one champion to another,” Muhammad Ali tweeted. “I will always stand behind & support @GoCards. Go Cards! #UniteLouisville #AliTweet.”

The school’s basketball program, which won the national championship in 2013, became the focal point of scandal earlier this month after a prostitute exposed an outreach effort to teenage recruits that involved strippers and sexual favors provided to the youngsters and, on occasion, to their family members, in exchange for cash provided by a former Louisville graduate assistant.

Coach Rick Pitino denies knowledge of the scheme. He posted on his website yesterday his commitment to remain at the helm of the Cardinals basketball program.

“I will not resign and let you down,” Pitino wrote. “Someday I will walk away in celebration of many memorable years but that time is not now. I do not fight these accusations by others but rather turn the other cheek. Couldn’t do it at 33, but at 63 it’s the wise thing to do. Let’s let the investigators do their job and we will play basketball.”

Ali, who graduated from Louisville Central High School, never went to college. But he sent his son, Assad, to the school, where he played baseball. Last month, Ali received the university’s Grawemeyer Spirit Award after donating $50,000 toward a Muhammad Ali Leadership Baseball Scholarship. The three-time lineal heavyweight champion and Olympic gold medalist attended a Cardinals football game after the award ceremony.


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