According to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” report, former University of Louisville players admitted that the Cardinals basketball team was routinely provided with strippers at parties within the dorm, and that some of the strippers had sex with players in exchange for money. The scandal is reported to have gone on for around four years.
Stephen A. Smith reacted on Tuesday’s “First Take” on ESPN2 to the report, saying,”This does not look good for [Louisville basketball head coach Rick Pitino].”
While Smith would not accuse Pitino of any wrongdoing, he did say, “The buck stops with Rick Pitino,” and he, as well as athletic director Tom Jurich, should both have been aware something was happening.
“I don’t know how you get around this not stopping at the footsteps of Rick Pitino. Do I believe it’s plausible and possible that he did not know? Yes, I do. You’re the head coach of a program. That does not mean that you’re aware of what boosters and others decide to do in terms of sliding money to folks to engage in salacious activity or whatever word that you want to use,” explained Smith.
“The buck stops with Rick Pitino,” he continued. “The buck stops with him. You’re the head of the program, and even though you didn’t know, if you didn’t know, it’s because you didn’t want to know. It’s because you basically said, ‘I want nothing to do with this. Make sure it’s not connected to me. I don’t want to find out. Don’t tell me anything.’ There’s just no other way you can dissect this. Not to mention the fact that it’s not just Rick Pitino who should be under fire. It’s Tom Jurich, the athletic director. The second highest paid athletic director in the nation. The reason I bring him up is because from my understanding, I think it’s the athletic department that’s in charge of policing the dorms. The dorms are allegedly where some of this activity took place.”