U of L basketball investigation: A timeline

Jeff Greer, and Steve Jones
The Courier-Journal

This story was updated on June 15, 2017.

Here is a timeline of events in the Louisville basketball investigation dating to August 2015. The original version of this timeline was published in February 2016.

Coach Rick Pitino speaks to the press during the University of Louisville basketball media day on Tuesday afternoon.
October 11, 2016

Late August 2015: U of L is informed that a book written by escort Katina Powell would soon be published that alleged U of L staffer Andre McGee paid for strippers and prostitutes to dance and have sex with U of L players and recruits in the team dormitory, Billy Minardi Hall. U of L hires Chuck Smrt, an expert on NCAA compliance cases, to investigate the claims along with the NCAA.

Oct. 2, 2015: The college basketball world is rocked by news about the existence of the book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules." In a Friday afternoon news conference, U of L vows to get to the bottom of the allegations. Coach Rick Pitino states that he has no knowledge of any of the events alleged in the book having taken place and that none of the more than a dozen former assistants or staff members he asked about it did, either. Pitino says he stopped inquiring about the allegations on his own because the NCAA directed him to stop. McGee's lawyer, Scott C. Cox, acknowledges his client knows Powell but says there is nothing "nefarious or inappropriate" about their interactions.

Oct. 3, 2015: "Breaking Cardinal Rules," a product of Indianapolis Business Journal Publishing LLC, is released for sale online. Powell, whose book was co-written with journalist Dick Cady, details nearly two dozen parties with dancers and prostitutes, including her own daughters, involving U of L players and recruits at Minardi Hall. She alleges that McGee, who left the staff in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City, paid her $10,000. Three days later, Cady tells The Courier-Journal that Powell seems "pretty damn credible."

ESPN reports the NCAA interviewed former Louisville recruit Antonio Blakeney, whose name is in Powell’s book, about his visits to the campus and city. Former U of L guard Terry Rozier, who is named in Powell’s book, tells the Boston Globe he will deal with questions related to Powell’s claims "when it’s time."

U of L plays its first public intrasquad scrimmage of the preseason, after which Pitino says, "If we did something wrong, we'll own up to it ... If we deviate from the norm of the NCAA, we need to own up to it."

Oct. 5, 2015: Powell tells the IBJ, the business magazine produced by the same company that published her book, that she has reason to believe Pitino knew about McGee's alleged dealings with her, a claim Pitino repeatedly rejects.

Former U of L star Montrezl Harrell, who is named in the book, tells Houston reporters, "I don't have anything to do with that."

Oct. 6, 2015: Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine says his office will "vigorously prosecute" those involved if his office is presented with evidence that Powell employed her underage daughters.

Oct. 7, 2015: Newly released copies of Smrt's contract with U of L reveal the steep costs the internal investigation could rack up. Through May 2016, the investigation cost U of L more than $300,000.

Oct. 8, 2015: reports that former U of L recruiting target JaQuan Lyle, now a freshman at Ohio State, confirmed the "gist" of Powell's claims in an interview with NCAA investigators.

Oct. 12, 2015: Former U of L star Terrence Williams, whose name is in Powell’s book, denies her claims, saying that, to Louisville fans, "I am Elvis Presley, so why would I pay anybody for anything?"

Oct. 14, 2015: Powell’s lawyer, Larry Wilder, tells USA Today and The Courier-Journal that Powell’s daughters were not underage when they participated in parties with U of L players and recruits.

Oct. 16, 2015: In her first public comments since the book’s release, Katina Powell tells The Courier-Journal that her daughters support her book.

Oct. 20, 2015: ESPN's "Outside the Lines" airs an extensive interview with Powell as part of an explosive report that also states that five unnamed former U of L recruits or players attended parties in the dorm from 2010 to 2014 that included strippers paid for by McGee. One of the former players said he had sex with a dancer after McGee paid her.

Ohio guard Frankie Hughes announces his commitment to U of L.

Oct. 22, 2015: Pitino writes a blog post in which he declares to fans, "I will not resign and let you down." Pitino previously had said that resigning would be cowardly.

Oct. 23, 2015: McGee resigns from his position as an assistant coach at UMKC.

Oct. 30, 2015: The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office sends out grand jury subpoenas for the Powell case. The office's spokesman says almost a year later that they are still collecting information.

Nov. 11, 2015: Frankie Hughes and V.J. King sign national letters of intent to play for U of L. Hughes later leaves the team.

Nov. 12, 2015: Powell’s lawyer confirms she will speak with the NCAA enforcement staff.

Jan. 1, 2016: During a routine press conference to discuss the start of ACC play, Pitino changes the subject back to the NCAA investigation for the first time in weeks and defends the program's reputation. "Now, did one person (McGee) do some scurrilous things?" he said. "I believe so. What I know now, I believe so. The only thing I don't know is, I don't know why he did it. I just, for the life of me, can't figure it out. He knew better. He was taught better, by his parents and by me."

Feb. 5, 2016: After U of L's investigation determined that an undisclosed NCAA violation had taken place, Ramsey announces that the school will self-impose a 2016 postseason ban on the current team, which is ranked No. 19 nationally and features two dynamic graduate transfers Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, who had come to the team for this year only largely for a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. Pitino, declaring himself a "soldier in the army" and willing to accept the decision of U of L's administrators to implement the ban, said delivering the news to his players was one of the most painful moments of his career.

March 4, 2016: The chairman of U of L's board of trustees, Larry Benz, offers a public statement of support for Pitino.

March 5, 2016: Louisville's season ends with a loss at Virginia. At his postgame press conference, Pitino sounds like a coach who plans to return next season.

April 6, 2016:U of L announces self-imposed recruiting sanctions, including a two-scholarship reduction over the next three years, plus limits on recruiting travel and visits.

Late April, 2016: Rumblings that the NCAA has finally met with Pitino circulate, but Pitino and U of L say they cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.

May 3, 2016:Judge dismisses student’s lawsuit against Powell, IBJ.

Aug. 12, 2016: Sources say the NCAA is still conducting interviews as part of its investigation.

Oct. 11, 2016:Pitino says he is confident U of L will not receive further punishment from the NCAA, suggesting the school’s self-imposed sanctions fit the violations that occurred.

Oct. 17, 2016: Sources tell The Courier-Journal that the NCAA's notice of allegations is expected that week.

Oct. 20, 2016: U of L releases the NCAA notice with four major allegations against the program.

Jan. 17, 2017: U of L and Pitino file their responses to the notice of allegations, primarily contesting the NCAA's charges against the coach. (The response documents are made public eight days later, on Jan. 25.)

March 17, 2017: The NCAA sends U of L its reply, the documents detailing the enforcement staff's counterarguments to U of L's response. (The reply documents were made public six days later, on March 23.)

April 20, 2017: Members of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions hold a hearing with the NCAA enforcement staff and the University of Louisville. The panel tells U of L to expect a ruling in 6-8 weeks.

May 25, 2017: Grand jury declined to indict Katina Powell and Andre McGee in University of Louisville sex scandal case.

June 15, 2017: The NCAA ruling comes out. The NCAA suspends Rick Pitino for the first five ACC games and hits the University of Louisville with a "vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible." The U of L announces it will appeal the decision.