With the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules” released over the weekend, the Louisville basketball program has some serious allegations to look into. Escort Katina Powell alleged that she was paid by then Louisville staffer Andre McGee to entice recruits through the use of prostitutes, with three being her own daughters. For the NCAA, an investigation into this would involve them looking to prove the validity of the allegations in the book.
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But without subpoena power the NCAA can’t force Powell (who said she reached out to the NCAA) to sit down for a conversation regarding the allegations made in her book. But they can interview current players who may have been involved, whether they’re at Louisville or another school. And Wednesday it was reported by Yahoo Sports that the NCAA has interviewed a former Louisville recruit regarding his alleged involvement in the scandal.
JaQuan Lyle, who in June 2013 committed to Louisville and whose name was mentioned in Powell’s book, was interviewed by NCAA investigators according to Pat Forde’s report. But according to the report an Ohio State spokesman said that they aren’t too concerned when it comes to Lyle’s eligibility. Here’s the excerpt in the book in which Lyle’s name appeared according to Yahoo Sports:
“Been a long time since we’ve been up to U of L to do a show. McGee texted me like, what’s up? He wanted me to bring three girls up there for a new recruit named JaQuan Lyle, he and his friend. I took (escorts) Rod-Ni, TooTall, Jazmine and Shay, who calls herself Sammi. TooTall made $100, Shay made $100, and Jazzy made nothing because she did absolutely nothing.”
(10/8 UPDATE, 11:06 a.m.: Louisville’s worst concerns reportedly came to fruition as Lyle has confirmed the allegations in Powell’s book, according to CBSSports.com.)
(10/8 UPDATE, 4:21 p.m.: According to WDRB Louisville, a former Louisville player discussed with school investigators one occasion in which strippers were present in the players’ dorm, while also disputing some of the other claims made by Powell in her book.)
Lyle would eventually reopen his recruitment in November 2013, landing at Oregon where he wasn’t allowed to enroll in 2014. After spending some time at IMG Academy in Florida the former five-star prospect committed to Ohio State as a member of its 2015 recruiting class.
In order to get current players (LSU’s Antonio Blakeney has also reportedly been interviewed) to cooperate the NCAA can dangle the threat of a loss of eligibility in front of them. And unless those who can’t be forced to speak decide to sit down for conversations, this is the best way for investigators to acquire information. With the names of other players appearing in Powell’s book, look for more announcements of interviews with the NCAA to come in the days and weeks ahead.