Katina Powell, a 42-year-old self-described former escort in Kentucky, has come forward with details of nearly two-dozen stripping and sex parties held from 2010 to 2014 for recruits of the University of Louisville’s basketball team.
Five former University of Louisville basketball players and recruits told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that they attended such parties at Billy Minardi Hall, Louisville’s on-campus dorm for athletes and other students. The parties included strippers paid for by the team’s former graduate assistant coach, Andre McGee.
According to “OTL,” McGee would contact Powell to arrange strippers for certain players and recruits. Powell said she would supply the parties with strippers, including her two daughters, Lindsay, 24, (pictured, left) and Rod-Ni (r), 22.
Powell said McGee would pay her for providing the strippers, and often ask her to arrange “side deals” with the women, meaning sexual encounters with some recruits, the guardians who accompanied them on visits and some Louisville players.
Powell – who makes these revelations in her book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” published this month – said that McGee paid her $10,000 for supplying dancers from 2010 to 2014, including extra cash for the various side deals.
One of the former players told “OTL” he had sex with a dancer after McGee paid her. Each of the players and recruits attended different parties at Billy Minardi Hall, where dancers, many of whom stripped naked, were present. Three of the five players said they attended parties as recruits and also when they played for Louisville.
Said one of the recruits, who ultimately signed to play elsewhere: “I knew they weren’t college girls. It was crazy. It was like I was in a strip club.”
The former player who said he had sex with a dancer told Outside the Lines that McGee provided him with one-dollar bills to tip dancers and paid for one of the dancers to have sex with the player in a separate room. One of the other former players, who said he attended the parties as a recruit and player, said McGee “would give us the money, just the recruits. A bunch of us were sitting there while they danced. Then the players left, and the recruits chose which one [of the dancers] they wanted.”
Coach Rick Pitino, whose late brother-in-law’s name is on the dorm building housing the athletes, says he knew nothing of the sex parties.
“I don’t know if any of this is true or not,” Pitino told ESPN’s Dana O’Neil and Yahoo! Sports in a conference call Tuesday. “There’s only one person who knows the truth, and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do he right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here.
That one person is McGee, who declined to comment, left Louisville in 2014 and is an assistant coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, according to ESPN. He is on administrative leave with pay while the school conducts a review. The NCAA and Louisville also are investigating.
Watch SI’s report on the Louisville sex scandal below.