Louisville is looking into escort allegations made in a book about the basketball program

The University of Louisville responded on Friday to allegations that former staff member Andre McGee arranged and paid for escorts to entertain recruits and players when he was on staff at U of L.

The University of Louisville released a statement on Friday afternoon saying the school is looking into allegations made in a newly published book that a former U of L basketball staff member paid escorts for both players and recruits.

The book - "Breaking Cardinal Rules" - is expected to be released this weekend. It's being published by IBJ Book Publishing, LLC, which was reported first by the Indianapolis Business Journal.

In the book, the allegations are that former director of basketball operations Andre McGee paid an escort service "four years to provide sex to teenage recruits to help woo the players to join the Cardinals team."

U of L athletic director Tom Jurich and basketball coach Rick Pitino spoke with the media on Friday night.

"I'm heart broken," Pitino said, noting he spoke with more than 15 former assistant coaches and staff members and none had any knowledge of any kind of activitiy that is alleged. "I'm shocked over this. My heart is just taken out of my body and broken."

Jurich said: "I would be very shocked if" director of basketball operations Andre McGee, was involved in the deal.

McGee spent four years on the U of L staff, the final two as the director of basketball operations. He is now an assistant coah at Missouri-Kansas City under former U of L assistant Kareem Richardson. He has been placed on administrative leave at UMKC.

Jurich said Louisville "immediately" hired Chuck Smrt. a private investigator, to run the investigation on the allegations. He worked for the NCAA for 18 years and now works for the Compliance Group.

"If we did anything, we will ante up," Jurich said. "(Smrt) is the quarterback of this thing. We want to find the facts."

In a statement the school said: "The University of Louisville will continue its review in full cooperation and coordination with the NCAA and, if warranted, take any appropriate action. The allegations have been taken very seriously. In no way would anyone at this institution condone the alleged activities. To preserve the integrity of the review process, the university will withhold comment on any details until the review is concluded."

During his 20-minute news confernece, Pitino said all the former assistants "to a person," said they all had no idea about any of the allegations.

"It has really, really has gotten to me," Pitino said.

Pitino said he spoke one time to McGee before he was told not to speak to him or any former players about the situation and said "at no time, did he own up to what's being printed."

"I can't say what's true and what's not true," Pitino said. 

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