© 2023 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

U of L President Ramsey Responds To Escort Scandal in Letter

J. Tyler Franklin

University of Louisville President James Ramsey says in a letter to students, faculty and staff that the university is working to address the allegations facing the men’s basketball program in a “complete, thorough and investigative way.”

The program is the focus of several investigations into claims made in a book that former staff member Andre McGee arranged to have strippers and escorts entertain players and recruits over a four-year period.

Ramsey says in the campus-wide email Tuesday that officials don’t know how long U of L’s internal investigation will take. The school has hired former NCAA enforcement officer Chuck Smrt to lead the probe.

Cardinals basketball coach Rick Pitino has said repeatedly that he had no knowledge of the activities alleged in Katina Powell’s book and has no plans to resign.

The letter comes a day after a special meeting of the U of L Board of Trustees was scheduled. While no agenda has been released for the Nov. 5 meeting, sources inside the university tell WFPL it will address the basketball scandal.

The trustees have authority over personnel decisions in the athletic department, according to a university spokesman.

Here is Ramsey's letter:


My sincere thanks  to those of you who were able to attend our campus forums last week, either in person or through the live-streaming.  The forums focused primarily on the next steps for moving forward with our University of the 21stCentury discussions. We appreciate your further feedback and questions – feel free to continue to communicate with Interim Provost Pinto or me as we move forward. 

As mentioned in my State of the University address, it is now time for us to move forward with these initiatives. At the same time, we must move forward prudently with continued campus discussions and input to ensure the success of these important initiatives. 

In addition, we as an institution are working to address the allegations made concerning the men’s basketball program in a complete, thorough investigative way.  As previously discussed, immediately upon hearing the allegations, we employed our own investigator — Chuck Smrt, a former NCAA official. We do not know the timing of the findings that will be forthcoming from this report, but Chuck has been working with the NCAA in a process that is both deliberate and thorough.

We are one university and we are addressing this as one university – not an isolated athletic issue. So we are doing all that we can in the days and weeks ahead to emphasize the important work of you, our faculty, staff and students, and the amazing things that continue to happen at UofL. I know that you join me in celebrating  the great history and tradition that is the University of Louisville.

We pledge to do the very best that we can during this time to find out what, if anything, occurred while we continue to focus on our daily responsibilities. Thank you for all that you do, and thank you to the great number of you who have expressed support and prayers for both me and the university.

James Ramsey

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.