Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has made his first public comments following Tuesday’s latest report on the men’s basketball program’s sex scandal from ESPN’s Outside the Lines.
The embattled head coach spoke with ESPN.com’s Dana O’Neil and Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde over the phone on Tuesday afternoon and pleaded with former staffer Andre McGee to come forward with his version of events.
Here is what Pitino had to say:
“I don’t know if any of this is true or not, there’s only one person who knows the truth and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do the right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here. He’s the only one with any answers.
“Whether it’s true or not, I don’t know,” Pitino continued. “I spoke to my nephew who lived in Minardi Hall, lived in the dorm, and he said he never saw anything the entire time he lived there. Obviously by what people are saying, something did go on but there’s only one person who knows the truth. Everything else is absurd. I don’t care about the legal issues. If he’s done something wrong, he has to own up to it and do his penance.
“We know on the other end of the book, this is all about money. People will say and do anything for money. If these things are not true, and I keep using the word if, there’s only one person who can give solutions to these problems. It’s Andre McGee. It’s time to give back to his team, his university, and coaches and tell the NCAA the truth and tell everyone else who was at one time very proud of him the truth. He owes that to his parents, to his university, to his teammates and his coaches.
“This is not only an NCAA issue here. It’s more than that. There’s more to it. His teammates that believed in him, his coaches that believed in him, the community that believed in him, put our trust in him to do the right things. If he’s done the wrong, he needs to own up to it. If he hasn’t, he needs to say it’s a lie. But the truth has to come out and it can’t be to just the NCAA. I talked to [McGee] one time (when news first broke) and screaming so loud at him, his only response I got was he never paid any money for anything.”
While we’ve obviously heard from Katina Powell, some former Louisville players and recruits and the school’s adminstration, McGee has remained publicly quiet on the subject.
A former four-year Louisville player who later became a graduate assistant and then director of basketball operations at his alma mater, McGee left the Cardinals to become an assistant coach at UMKC before the 2013-14 season. McGee has been placed on administrative leave at UMKC as the NCAA and Louisville continue to investigate.