U of L president Ramsey preaches patience

Jeff Greer
Louisville Courier Journal

University of Louisville president James Ramsey stressed the importance of "doing the work we do" as the NCAA and a private investigator look into a new book's major allegations against the university's basketball program.

Ramsey, in a statement released to the media at the U of L Board of Trustees meeting, said he "fully" supports Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich.

"For the past 18 years, Tom Jurich has served as athletic director of an exemplary program at U of L," Ramsey's statement said. "I fully support Tom as we work to identify the facts in this situation, and that is what we are doing. Tom and I are committed to the values that are fundamental to the success of Cardinal athletics."

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In the book, titled "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," escort Katina Powell claims former U of L director of basketball operations Andre McGee paid her and other escorts, including her teenage daughters, thousands of dollars and gave them game tickets in exchange for sex with and dancing for players and recruits.

Jurich announced Friday that U of L hired former NCAA enforcement staffer Chuck Smrt, who now runs a private investigation firm in Kansas that specializes in NCAA compliance issues, to look into Powell's allegations.

Smrt, Jurich said, is working with the NCAA, which has interviewed several former U of L recruits in recent weeks. News broke Thursday that one former recruit, JaQuan Lyle, who committed to Louisville but is now a freshman guard at Ohio State, corroborated "the gist" of Powell's allegations in his meeting with the NCAA.

In his statement to the trustees, Ramsey said "the investigation of these allegations may take time," a point stressed by both Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino, who is not mentioned in Ramsey's statement.

"We must, as one university, continue doing the work we do to move our university and our community forward," Ramsey said.

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