Powell sorry for Louisville fallout, says ordeal 'worth it'
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Katina Powell said Saturday that she is "so sorry" about the fallout of the sex scandal that resulted in sanctions against Louisville's basketball program, but added that her experience was "worth surviving."
In her 2015 book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen," Powell alleged that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players. Several investigations followed, including one by the NCAA that resulted in a decision Thursday to suspend coach Rick Pitino and levy other penalties against Louisville. The NCAA described the activities as "repugnant."
Powell reiterated that money was her sole motivation for writing the book during a nearly hour-long Facebook Live interview on Saturday with comedian Jason English that was later removed. She said she has dealt with depression since the scandal, but added that everything "was very well worth it." She's even been approached about a possible movie and a second book.
"It was worth putting food on the table," she said. "It was worth me driving what I drive. It was worth me living the way I live."
Louisville plans to appeal NCAA sanctions that include Pitino's suspension for five Atlantic Coast Conference games and a 10-year show-cause order for McGee. Powell wrote that McGee paid her $10,000 for 22 shows from 2010-14 in Louisville's Billy Minardi Hall dormitory.
The governing body also placed Louisville on four years' probation and ordered the vacation of victories in which ineligible players participated. Players deemed ineligible would be those involved in the sex parties, which are considered impermissible benefits.
Compliance consultant Chuck Smrt estimated that as many as 108 regular season games and 15 NCAA Tournament games are in question, including Louisville's 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance. The NCAA accepted Louisville's self-imposed ban from the 2016 postseason.
During the Facebook Live interview, Powell said she held no grudge with the school, but added that "they knew what it was going in."
"At the end of the day I have to live with what I did, the decision that I made," she added.
Updated June 17, 2017