Assistant UMKC basketball coach in Louisville stripper scandal resigns

 

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Andre McGee resigned as assistant coach at University of Missouri-Kansas City on Friday, saying he could no longer do the job as he fights "false" allegations by an escort that he hired dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players while coaching at Louisville.

Not long after McGee announced his resignation, Rick Pitino, his former boss at Louisville, said in a statement from Louisville that the Hall of Fame coach was going to skip ACC media day next week in Charlotte, North Carolina, on the advice of counsel because of the allegations.

"I do not want the allegations we are facing to negatively impact the other 14 institutions on what should be a great event to talk about the approaching basketball season," Pitino said in the statement. "I realize that while many would like to question me on the allegations, the NCAA does not permit me to speak on the subject."

McGee, a former Louisville player, served as a graduate assistant and director of men’s basketball operations at the school before coming to UMKC in 2014.

In his resignation letter to UMKC athletics director Carla Wilson, McGee said he couldn’t perform his duties as a coach for the Kangaroos while also dealing with the allegations in Louisville.

"The university deserves a full-time assistant coach and I am not able to provide that to the basketball team while the false allegations against me are being investigated," McGee wrote.

The escort, Katina Powell, also was speaking out on Friday.

She appeared on ABC’s "The View" on Friday with her daughters. Powell wrote in "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen" that McGee paid her $10,000 for 22 shows from 2010-14 with many taking place at the players’ Billy Minardi Hall dormitory.

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Powell and daughters Shay, Lindsay and Rod Ni — all of whom Powell writes performed shows with her — appeared on the show with Powell’s attorney Larry Wilder. They talked about an hour before McGee’s resignation was announced.

Wilder of Jeffersonville, Indiana, said the crime of selling sex for money in Kentucky is a Class A misdemeanor with a one-year statute of limitations for prosecution. There is no such limitation for the promotion of prostitution, which Wilder said is a Class D felony. It is punishable by one to five years in prison.

The attorney added that if Powell is prosecuted, "then they need to prosecute McGee as well because Mr. McGee participated by contacting Miss Powell, paying for the parties and paying for the provision of sex."

Powell described her involvement as "fun" and shrugged off criticism of including her daughters in the shows. Rod Ni Powell added, "going to the dorm and being around the basketball players … was fun."

Powell’s book has led to four separate investigations, including one by Louisville campus police, which announced on Oct. 6 that it was working with Louisville Metro Police and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to review the allegations for possible criminal charges.

Jeff Cooke, spokesman for the Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney, said Friday that investigations by prosecutors and police are ongoing and that there was "nothing to report at this time."

There were also investigations launched by the athletic department and NCAA when the school was notified of the allegations in late August.

The University of Louisville Foundation announced the hiring of a law firm two days later to review the allegations.

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Pitino has denied knowledge of the activities described in Powell’s book.

But on Tuesday, Powell said on ABC’s "Good Morning America" that with "a boatload" of recruits and dancers, "loud music, alcohol, security, cameras" in a campus dormitory, "how could Rick not know?"

UMKC said it would have no further comment while investigations being conducted by it, the University of Louisville and the NCAA are ongoing.

Scott C. Cox, McGee’s Louisville-based attorney, didn’t immediately return messages from The Associated Press on Friday seeking comment.