NCAA charges Rick Pitino with failure to monitor in sex scandal

Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports
By Steve DelVecchio  |  Last updated 10/20/16


The NCAA announced on Thursday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been charged with failure to monitor a staff member. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA announced on Thursday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino has been charged with failure to monitor a staff member in his basketball program after an investigation into the sex scandal that went on at the university.

In its notice of allegations, the NCAA revealed four Level I charges, two of which were directed at former director of basketball operations Andre McGee and another at former assistant Brandon Williams. Louisville was not charged with lack of institutional control or failure to monitor.

While Pitino has vehemently denied having knowledge of any of the allegations former escort Katina Powell made in her book, he could be facing a steep penalty. The NCAA determined that McGee paid Powell and other escorts roughly $5,400 in exchange for sex acts for “at least” 17 athletes and/or recruits. Though Pitino was not charged with committing any of the violations himself, he is responsible for not monitoring McGee and his staff and failing to “spot-check” his program or look for red flags.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim and then-SMU coach Larry Brown were suspended nine games each last season for failure to monitor.

The NCAA has yet to propose penalties, and Louisville believes its self-imposed penalties of a postseason ban, forfeiture of scholarships and reduced recruiting access will be sufficient. McGee and Williams, who both failed to cooperate with the investigation, no longer work at Louisville.

A previous report stated that three Louisville recruits confirmed to the NCAA that the stripper parties did take place. The NCAA’s investigation has determined the same.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the NCAA is increasing its punishment of D-3 universities. 

Baruch College in New York, a Division III school, was hit with NCAA penalties this year and is now under scrutiny from federal prosecutors. 

By Rebecca Davis O’Brien, The Wall Street Journal

Baruch College in New York, a Division III school, was hit with NCAA penalties this year and is now under scrutiny from federal prosecutors. Photo: Steven Freeman/Getty Images

Baruch College, a century-old public institution in downtown Manhattan, isn’t exactly an athletic powerhouse. Most of its coaches are part-time and, until 2002, the school didn’t have its own gymnasium.

In other words, Baruch would seem an unlikely target of NCAA investigators. But it is one of a growing number of Division III schools to incur NCAA penalties for giving improper financial aid to student-athletes—misconduct that in Baruch’s case has also drawn scrutiny from federal prosecutors, according to people familiar with the matter.

The trouble at Baruch, which centered on the women’s basketball team, underscores the challenges Division III schools face when navigating the NCAA’s complex recruiting rules, restrictions that at times collide with institutional pressures to draw better athletes and win more games.

Division III schools that have been sanctioned since 2014 include Kalamazoo College, in Michigan; Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, in Indiana; and the University of Wisconsin at Superior. In these cases, the schools allowed athletics to be considered in the awarding of financial aid and scholarships. They also involved the intervention of coaches or donors.



With 12 days left till the first game of the pre-conference season against Orange Coast College, the AVC roster has been officially posted for 2016-17. 


This team looks to be one of the better balanced teams that AVC has put on the floor for some time. 

  1. Six sophomores/7 freshmen
  2. Six guards
  3. Four wings
  4. Four Bigs
  5. Great depth where all 13 players have the talent to participate in any game this season.

November will give the team a real look at how good they are this early in the season.   AVC will be playing up tempo teams, grinders, ranked teams, the #1 ranked team in the state all on the road except one game. 

Should be a great test.

Jessie Burns1

If big Jessie gets the pass deep in the paint for AVC, it will take four players to stop his move to the basket.  Add to that, he has great hands and a beast in rebounding. and getting a accurate outlet pass to his team mates. 

There is no question that Burns has improved dramatically over the summer and fall.  He has improved his footwork, his confidence in using his size and understanding the half court sets for big men.

He continues to work hard on improving his conditioning and on his academics.  He has learned a great deal from his fellow Big’s; , Ace Warren, 6’10”, Will Harold, 6’8”, Jailan Gill, 6’7”. 

Expect to see the “man mountain” be regularly inserted into the rotations to give AVC size and strength and his team mates a blow.  The good part?  You will lose very little when Jessie comes in and even less as the season progresses.   

My suitcases are packed with warm clothes, my car is filled with gas and I will be leaving for the airport in a couple of hours.  Heading for my Dad’s 99th birthday party in Minnesota.  Should be a big blowout.  Its been a busy couple of months with 15 days in Austria, five days in San Diego and now five days in Minnesota.  Guess I am getting ready for the basketball season.

Now back to JUCO basketball…the CCCAA coaches pre-season poll came out yesterday and AVC was ranked;

  1. State-wide Ranking #11
  2. SoCal Ranking #6

The pre-season ranking are based on how well the team did last year(AVC 25-7/state elite 8) and what the teams look like in the Summer/Fall shootouts(AVC 7-1).  As the players know, its not the pre-season ranking that is important but how the team finishes in March.

AVC will be taking on some ranked teams at their first tournament in Ventura.  Here are the three teams ranked in the SoCal pre-season poll;

  1. #6  Antelope Valley College
  2. #16 Pasadena City College
  3. #20  Ventura College

In the first games of the pre-season, no team should be overlooked especially in JUCO.  Orange Coast is a team that plays a difficult style of basketball.  Riverside College has not played any games in Fall/Summer so is a complete unknown.  Ventura is at home and has size and Pasadena is talented.

Finally, the AVC team practices have been spirited and they will need the 13 days to prepare for their first big test in Ventura.  AVC has had average practices over all but did a nice job at the free throw line.  They attempted 34 FT made 29 for an overall percentage of 85.3%  They will need that kind of shooting from the line to win their games against top teams..

The flood of JUCO preseason polls are coming out led by the CCCMBA poll.  AVC’s 11 ranking in the State looks reasonable to me being that is what we were ranked as we lost in the state elite 8 ranking last year.  Add to that, with only two “experienced” players returning for AVC, the coaches are waiting to see if the “new 11” players are as talented as they look on paper.  The Ventura tournament will be the chance for the AVC team to step up. 

 CCCMBCA State Preseason Poll

1. San Francisco
2. Saddleback
3. Las Positas
4. Yuba
5. Chaffey
6. Fresno
7. Feather River
8. East Los Angeles
9. Fullerton
10. El Camino-Compton Center
11. Antelope Valley
12. Santa Rosa
13. Cerritos
14. Ohlone
15. Butte
16. Sierra
17.  San Bernardino
18. Mt. San Jacinto
19. Diablo Valley
20. Citrus

Southern California Preseason Poll
1. Saddleback
2. Chaffey
3. East Los Angeles
4. Fullerton
5. El Camino-Compton Center
6. Antelope Valley
7. Cerritos
8. San Bernardino
9. Mt. San Jacinto
10. Citrus

Dee Jones1Fall has shown that D’Mauria Jones is going to be special basketball player.  Scoring 27 points per game as a high school senior he arrived at AVC with the size and athletic D-1 level teams are looking for.

The freshman at Antelope Valley is adding four key skill sets that are absolutely key to his long term success. 

Academics…Dee is enrolled in a full load of college classes, attending mandatory study sessions with the rest of the team and being monitored regularly on his progress.  Jones knows he must have a 2.5 GPA and an AA degree to move up to his goal of playing basketball at an elite D-1 university.

Half court control…Making the step from most high school programs to a college level program is huge, especially in learning 40+ defensive/offensive sets in the half court.  Dee is making good progress in this area.

Improved Shooting…AVC is known for its emphasis on shooting and Dee has improved rapidly in long range shooting.

Smart defense…With Dee’s physical gifts, he came to AVC with good defensive skills but now is learning team defense and smart defense which will make him into an outstanding defensive player.

I predict that Jones will improve every game this year.  Watch out AVC opponents.