Coach P.

Coach Rick Pitino

Recruitment Package: A new book, entitled “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” claims a University of Louisville staffer used prostitutes and strippers to entice prospective basketball recruits, says the Indianapolis Business Journal, Author Katrina Powell claims former University of Louisville director of basketball operations Andre McGee paid her escort service some $10,000 to provide services during parties at the Billy Minardi Hall dorm.

NBC Sports says Powell tried to contact the NCAA in March with her claims:

“I called the NCAA in mid-March, I spoke with a young white guy, and I was telling him that I had a story about a college that was trading sex and all that stuff for money,”

“[The man who answered the phone] said he’s not allowed to take a story from somebody on the outside—you know, ‘It’s heresay, I’m not doing that, I’m not taking the story.’ I asked if there was anyone else I could possibly tell my story to, and he said, ‘No, there’s no one else. We can’t take outside stories.’ He hung up. I hung up.”

Powell reached out to IBJ publishing a week later.

Sports Illustrated says campus police are launching a full investigation, while University of Louisville Foundation has hired a firm to investigate, reports ESPN.

Ms. Powell declined to give her records to the NCAA as well, says Sporting News.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former University of Louisville player told ESPN he didn’t know who set up the strippers and not everyone knew about them, but the party he stumbled into had girls dancing in bathing suits. He said, “They didn’t get all the way nude.”

CBS Sports says University of Louisville President James Ramsey issued a statement Thursday, praising Athletic Director Tom Jurich. An excerpt:

“For the past 18 years, Tom Jurich has served as athletic director of an exemplary program at UofL. 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.

Not to be found in Ramsay’s 174-word statement: Coach Rick Pitino.

NBC Sports says according to Ms. Powell, Mr. Pitino knew “about everything.” ESPN says according to Mr. Pitino, no one knew.

Pitino says your University of Louisville battling basketball Cardinals don’t need things like escorts to recruit; the program speaks for itself. And to his point, USA Today talks to the father of a future recruit who says the investigation won’t be a factor for his son.

Sporting News suggests the program put itself in exile with a self-imposed ban on the postseason to temper whatever NCAA punishment could be forthcoming.

eku-threatDismissed: Eastern Kentucky University closed its doors this week thanks to some threatening graffiti, says USA Today and The Washington Post. Found on a bathroom wall in the Powell Building on campus, the graffiti reads: ‘KILL ALL BY 10-8-15 THIS BU OOP.’

Said EKU President EKU President Michael Benson.

“Let me be absolutely clear: threats such as this will not be tolerated and the person or persons responsible will be held accountable and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To make such a threat is a felony and we will make every attempt to find those at fault and ensure that this does not happen again.”

School closed Thursday and Friday, with the university issuing a $10,000 reward for the conviction. 

Matt Bevin

Matt Bevin

On the Mat: As the election of Kentucky’s next governor fast approaches, The Cincinnati Enquirer says Republican Matt Bevin’s boat is having some trouble staying afloat, and as such, Republicans are starting to abandon ship. They suggest it could be because of Bevin’s tight association with the tea party, his 2014 primary fight with Sen. Mitch McConnell, or the impression that his opponent, Jack Conway, would be easier to work with.

Politico says Mr. Conway outspends Mr. Bevin by almost 4-1. From Politico:

Kentucky GOP gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin has $674,000 on hand with a month to go until the election, less than a third the amount that Democrat Jack Conway has available, according to filings Wednesday with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Bevin has raised about $1.7 million since the end of the primary election, with roughly $995,000 of that coming from his own pocketbook, according to the filings. His campaign had spent about $1 million. In the same time period, Conway’s campaign raised $6 million and spent $3.8 million in the same time period. Conway has about $2.3 million left available to him heading into the general election on Nov. 3.

Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul held a fundraiser Thursday night for Bevin in an attempt to give him a little spending money as the big day nears.

Lawrence HGMJpt2

Game Over: Vanity Fair, Film School Rejects, The Wall Street Journal and the loathed E! report the absolute final, this-is-really-it trailer is upon us for your big upcoming mega-blockbuster sequel, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2; The End of the Last Chapter of the Final Installment of an Epic Saga.” As you know, the series stars your girl, Jennifer Lawrence.

The trailer features a rallying speech by Lawrence’s Katniss, charging her cohorts to take on the evil Capital and the even more evil president, Donald Sutherland. Which makes it sound like I’m saying Donald Sutherland is evil rather than his character, which is not at all what I’m doing, though I’ve heard stories. And there are zombie monsters and a cat lady and sullen faces and all kinds of things on fire.

Here’s your trailer:

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 2” opens November 20.

See you next week.