The University of Missouri at Kansas City placed assistant coach Andre McGee on paid leave Friday, hours after IBJ reported that a new book alleges McGee hired strippers and prostitutes to entertain University of Louisville recruits while he worked there from 2010-2014.
The allegations are contained in “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” published by Indianapolis-based IBJ Book Publishing, a sister company to IBJ. Electronic versions became available through Amazon.com and other websites late Friday night.
UMKC said in a statement that it is taking the allegations seriously and has launched its own inquiry.
The book was co-written by former Indianapolis Star investigative reporter Dick Cady and Katina Powell, a Louisville stripper and escort who claims she was hired repeatedly by McGee to provide strippers and prostitutes during the campus visits of highly sought high school basketball players.
Louisville said Friday that it notified the NCAA of the allegations after IBJ Book Publishing presented them to the university. It also has retained Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the allegations.
ESPN reported on Saturday that the NCAA talked to LSU freshman and ex-Louisville recruit Antonio Blakeney earlier this week about his experiences during a recruiting trip. Blakeney is one of the athletes named in the book.
McGee, 28, has hired Louisville attorney Scott Cox, who said at a press conference Friday evening that while McGee knew Powell, “there was certainly nothing nefarious or inappropriate at all” about their interactions.
Cox said McGee denies the accusations. In addition, Cox said his law firm has hired former FBI agents to look into them. “We haven’t seen anything yet to corroborate the things that will be published in this book.”
Asked why Powell would write the book, Cox said: “She is a whore. She is interested in making money.”