The University of Louisville has announced a self-imposed postseason ban for its basketball program after months of allegations that coaching staff hired nude dancers and prostitutes to give sexual favors to players and recruits.
In a statement issued Friday Louisville President Jim Ramsey said that after reviewing the results of an investigation into the allegations, “it was reasonable to conclude that significant violations had occurred in the men’s basketball program in the past.”
Ramsey went on to say the university decided to “withhold the men’s basketball program from all conference and NCAA postseason competition following the 2015-16 men’s basketball season.”
“I recognize that this is a significant penalty for our program and will be a disappointment to our student athletes and to many in the UofL family,” the university chief added.
Ramsey then noted that the investigation is still ongoing and the school will have nothing more to say until that process is finished.
The UofL president concluded by expressing his support for coach Rick Pitino. “I continue to support Tom Jurich, Coach Pitino and the outstanding student-athletes in our men’s basketball program,” he said.
Pitino has maintained all along that he never knew assistant coach Andre McGee allegedly arranged for strippers and prostitutes to attend sex parties for the benefit of current and prospective UofL basketball players.
Of the allegations one potential recruit said, “I knew they weren’t college girls. It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club.”
The allegations took a more serious turn when escort worker Katina Powell, one of the women who claimed to have been hired to give out sexual favors, wrote a book detailing parties she claimed to have been hired to attend.
The sex parties took place inside the University’s Billy Minardi Hall dormitory between 2010 to 2014, the escort said. Powell also said she and other girls were hired to give sex not only to players and recruits but even to the fathers of some of those prospective players.
As a result of the ban, the team is now out of contention for both the NCAA tournament and the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
“The Cardinals are currently ranked 19th in the Associated Press poll,” ESPN reported on Friday, “and have an 18-4 record this season, including a 7-2 mark in ACC play. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi recently projected that Louisville would receive a No. 5 seed in this year’s NCAA tournament.”
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