Monday, October 26, 2015

Why Coach Pitino Isn't Sweating The Louisville Sex Scandal

First of all let's dispense with a primary question in the University of Louisville sex scandal.
Head basketball coach Rick Pitino claims he didn't know anything about the campus sex parties, featuring paid escorts, organized by then director of basketball operations Andre McGee for players, recruits and others between 2010-14, costing $10,000. The details surfaced recently in a book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules,"  by Katina Powell, who organized the parties.

Face it, Pitino knew. Naturally, he says he didn't know, but he most certainly did..

There's no way those activities could have happened for years without Pitino, an obsessive control freak who keeps close track of everything involving his program, knowing about them.  If you're talking a few isolated parties that cost chump change, maybe they might have happened behind his back. But years worth of parties involving thousands of dollars, something that could topple his regime? No way he didn't know.

Sources at Louisville said those parties were so notorious, people outside the sports department knew about them, and wished they were invited. According to the sources, the parties detailed by Powell in her book were just the tip of the iceberg. There were more women and drugs and money involved. But investigators will probably never catch the others. The cover-up began as soon as word leaked out about the book.

The fact that college athletes and those surrounding them are treated to sex parties is no surprise. The only surprise is that Louisville was dumb enough to get caught.

Sex and drugs are integral parts of most college basketball programs, particularly the bigger ones, like Louisville. Those parties have long been considered one of the perks of being part of the basketball program. Reports an ex-player for an SEC team:

"Sluts and pot, they go hand in hand with college basketball. It's one way of paying the players  We get a little money under the table and occasionally girls and pot, That's college basketball. Even after you graduate you can get in on those sex and drug goodies. That's the way it is everywhere. Nobody wants it to go away. Everybody keeps it quiet and enjoys the hell out of it. The bitch who wrote that book about the Louisville parties ruined it for everybody--for a while anyway. Those parties won't be happening on any campuses til this dies down. But they will be back."

What about Pitino?  Is he in any danger of being fired?

It's doubtful. McGee, the coach who set up the parties, has been working for the University of Missouri--Kansas City in the past year. He has already resigned that post. Looks like he's the Louisville fall-guy. Every school has a plan in place to protect the head coach, who is carefully isolated from the dirty, illegal essentials. The filthy footprints never lead to his door. When the crap hits the fan, the layers of protection are so well set up that the head coach, particularly at the top schools, is never soiled.

But this case is a little different. Powell, who served as the madam for the Louisville parties, is peddling a book, so she's on the major media circuit. Consequently this scandal, unlike most, has legs and may snowball into something big enough to knock down Pitino.

But if he is forced to resign from Louisville it could be a blessing for him  He wouldn't be unemployed for long..Athletic directors from many colleges, waving fat contracts, will line up to hire him. He'll be tainted but so what? Those schools won't care.

Bottom line, he's one of the top five coaches in the college game. In the end, the way things are, that's all that matters.