I assume that just about everyone knows about the scandal and allegations revolving around the University of Louisville basketball team. In case you have been too busy Netflix and chilling, let me catch you up (briefly) before I state some of my opinions on the matter.
A self-described “escort” named Katina Powell recently wrote and published a book detailing the chronicles of her time as a paid escort for the University of Louisville basketball team. According to Powell, former player and ex-assistant Andre McGee paid for her to arrange parties and prostitutes for recruits and their family members between 2010 and 2014. She claims the women stripped for and had sex with the recruits.
Coach Rick Pitino claims to have no knowledge these events ever occurred. Given his past, its up to each individual as to whether to trust him or not. As an avid fan of U of L, I want to believe him.
On Friday, February 5, University of Louisville President James Ramsey announced a self-imposed sanction banning the men’s basketball team from post-season play.
Obviously, a lot more has gone into all of this and there are a lot of questions still left unanswered. And of course, I don’t know ALL of the details or why President Ramsey made this decision. But, I also still have opinions based on what I know.
I don’t like and don’t trust President Ramsey as far as I could throw him. And I couldn’t even pick him up to begin with, so that isn’t far. He has proven himself to be racist and to make questionable decisions in the past. So, there’s that.
Now to the decision to impose sanctions by banning post-season play. Um, the ONLY people being punished by this are the current players (none of whom were involved in any of the allegations) and the fans. That just seems unreasonable to me and if I were Katina Powell, I wouldn’t be satisfied by that one little bit. What does this sanction prove to ANYONE. Even the NCAA will clearly see through this “self-imposed sanction” as a desperate plea to not have their 2013 National Title.
Why punish players who so obviously weren’t involved? Couldn’t there have been better ways to own up to wrong-doing without throwing these kids under the bus? For example, coming out and saying, “We realize wrong-doing was done on the part of the U of L men’s basketball team between the years of 2010 and 2014. We will fully accept the sanctions the NCAA chooses to hand to us in remorse for these actions and to show our current fans, players and everyone else that we will work hard to ensure something like this never happens again.”
I mean, I am not a publicist. I am not a University President or Athletic Director or Coach. But, I don’t understand why we are punishing these guys. Plus, who really thinks this will keep the NCAA from taking away that title? I sure as hell don’t.
Then there is Andre McGee. He is no longer with the University of Louisville. He is the main person Powell accused. This sanction doesn’t punish him. There is literally nothing the University of Louisville could do to punish him. I’m not sure there is anything anyone could do to punish him beyond suing him for something, somehow. Anyone have any opinions on that?
Lastly, and most importantly is one of the BIGGEST issues at play here, in my opinion. The University of Louisville, including President Ramsey has not even come close to addressing the issue of rape culture and how this act promoted that. Hiring prostitutes for anyone is deplorable, however these were 17 and 18 year old boys (younger maybe?). These were grown-ass men “giving” women to these boys. Paying for them to have sex and teaching them to treat women this way only adds to negative perceptions of women and the thought that women are simply objects to be bought.
THIS IS NOT IN ANY WAY OKAY!!!
Why aren’t more people talking about this? Yes, the sports are important, we live in Kentucky, I understand that. But, teaching these boys that it is okay to treat women this way is just horrendous. And, in my opinion, everyone from Rick Pitino up needs to be fired. I obviously don’t know who knew about all of this. But the fact is, some awful things were occurring and the University of Louisville needs to step up and show that raising caring, hard-working, kind young men who RESPECT women is more important than anything. They need to show that they care about the lives of ALL of their students, and to let something like this occur does not do that.
I love U of L. I proudly have a Bachelor’s degree from that establishment. I proudly have a U of L sticker on my car while living in Cat Country. I want to continue being proud of my University.
Perhaps if U of L makes some good choices and the NCAA imposes some proper sanctions, then maybe some other Universities will follow and make sure they don’t allow anything like this to happen on their campuses.