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Louisville avoids serious charges, while Pitino, two others are charged by NCAA

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino has been charged with failing to monitor his program, according to the NCAA. However, they’ve avoided serious charges from the national governing body following claims by a former escort.

The school made self-imposed sanctions, including missing last year’s March Madness tournament. The NCAA’s notice of allegations included four Level I charges, with one belonging to Pitino.

Two were directed to Andre McGee, the former director of basketball operations. Brandon Williams received the fourth violation.

Rick Pitino and former player Damion Lee

Rick Pitino and former player Damion Lee

According to the NCAA, the institution was not charged with a violation. They were facing two egregious infractions — lack of institutional control or failure to monitor — but they were not charged with either.

With the college basketball season set to start soon, Pitino may not be off the hook yet, according to ‘Although the NCAA did not say that Pitino was complicit nor is he charged with committing a violation himself, it alleges that the coach “did not monitor” McGee and failed to “spot-check” his program, including “actively looking for red flags,” Dana O’Neil wrote.

Pitino has denied any wrongdoing almost from the beginning after a book, called “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” came out in Oct. 2015 by former escort Katina Powell. In the book, Powell alleges that McGee paid her and former escorts money and gave them tickets in order to have sex with recruits in players’ dormitory, which was Minardi Hall.

The NCAA agreed with Pitino, and in their documents allege that McGee paid the escorts $5,4000. The players, which totaled 17, was construed as impermissible benefits, according to the NCAA.

McGee, the former Cardinal assistant coach, resigned from being an assistant coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). He resigned on October 23, 2015.

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