University of Louisville

U of L president expresses support of Jurich, says basketball investigation 'may take time'

2014 prospect JaQuan Lyle
2014 prospect JaQuan Lyle

University of Louisville president James Ramsey made his first public statement Thursday about allegations by a Louisville escort that strippers danced and had sex with Cardinals basketball players and prospects.

In a statement released at a Board of Trustees meeting, Ramsey expressed support for Athletics Director Tom Jurich but made no mention of basketball coach Rick Pitino.

"For the past 18 years, Tom Jurich has served as athletic director of an exemplary program at U of L," the statement said. "I fully support Tom as we work to identify the facts in this situation, and that is what we are doing. Tom and I are committed to the values that are fundamental to the success of Cardinal athletics."

Also Thursday, reported that an Ohio State freshman told NCAA investigators that his recruiting trip to Louisville included paid escorts.

JaQuan Lyle reportedly spoke to the NCAA investigator this week about his June 2013 trip to Louisville. A woman has alleged in a new book that she "took four escorts, at the request of former Louisville staff member Andre McGee, to do a 'show' for a 'new recruit named JaQuan Lyle.'"

Read the story here.

Pitino has said he has no knowledge of McGee's alleged activities.

After the allegations became public last Friday, U of L announced it was conducting an internal investigation led by Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, a Kansas-based firm.

Ramsey's statement requested patience.

"The investigation of the allegations may take time and we must, as one university, continue doing the work we do to move our university and our community forward."

Previous Herald-Leader coverage:

Mark Story: Can Rick Pitino survive another sex scandal?

Louisville probing claim staffer hired escorts for recruits