Of whores and hoops

Four months ago in this space, I blasted political consultant Jacob Conway, who, while attempting to collect an alleged debt from primary candidate Daniel Grossberg, said, “You are why people don’t like Jews.” In my ongoing struggle to be less surly, I restrained my fairest foul against Conway, a former escort. I was thinking, “You are why people don’t like whores.” I even typed it. Then I added a dash followed by a twist of Seinfeldian political correctness: “not that there’s anything wrong with that.” I don’t want to offend the two former whores I know — a friend who was supporting a drug habit and an endearing toke-mate of Carl Brown’s (and fellow heart patient) I met at a St. Matthews bus stop just last week.

The scathing statement became too complicated to save, but my self-restraint is vindicated. To opine that Jacob Conway gives whores a bad name would have been the understatement of the year, now that we meet 43-year-old Katina Powell, co-author of “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen” infamy. I haven’t bought the book — and I won’t. My rationale is this week’s bumper-sticker brainchild: “Don’t buy books by whores (not that there’s anything wrong with that).”

The bestseller, written with journalist Dick Cady, claims that former University of Louisville player, graduate assistant and director of basketball operations, Andre McGee, paid her “to provide sex to teenage recruits to help woo the players to join the Cardinal team,” according to an early release from its publisher. McGee, whose duties included keeping the players out of trouble, according to coach Rick Pitino, is on administrative leave as assistant basketball coach at the University of Missouri — Kansas City pending an internal investigation.

According to published reports, the book claims Powell rendered services (including private dances) to players and prospects or their guardians 22 times from 2010 to 2014 — sometimes on campus. “I felt like I was part of the recruitment team, Powell wrote. “A lot of them players went to UofL because of me.”

That’s a stretch — even for a loose, delusional cougar. The book also states that “Katina prided herself in providing a good variety of talent,” which included — bombshell alert — pimping out her younger daughters, who were 15 and 17 when they began these alleged liaisons dangereuses.

Last week, Cletus Moorman of Shively, the father of the youngest daughter, was apoplectic when the C-J’s Andrew Wolfson interviewed him. “It has me so upset,” he said. “How could you do this to someone who is a minor?”

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Powell’s reaction preceded his righteous indignation. Even though she recently told the Indianapolis Business Journal (a sister company to her publisher), “ I do want to get away from this type of life,” she reportedly wrote in the book, “I don’t think what I’m doing and what they are doing is wrong in my eyesight.”

Madame, justice isn’t quite so visually impaired. If her published claims are proven (if they’re provable), she and McGee could be prosecuted. Here’s the relevant Kentucky Revised Statute: 529.040 Promoting prostitution. (1) A person is guilty of promoting prostitution when he knowingly advances or profits from prostitution. (2) Promoting prostitution is a Class A misdemeanor unless the person managed, supervised, controlled, or owned, either alone or in association with others, a house of prostitution or a prostitution business or enterprise involving prostitution activity by two or more prostitutes, in which case it is a Class D felony.

Former Louisville recruit JaQuan Lyle, a freshman at Ohio State, confirmed “the gist of” Powell’s book, to NCAA investigators, CBS Sports reported last Thursday. But Louisville lawyer Scott Cox, an expert defense attorney, categorically denies client McGee’s involvement. “To suggest that he could pay multiple prostitutes to come to Minardi Hall and have sexual relations with athletes is ludicrous,” he said.

As for McGee’s relationship with Powell, Cox added, “He did not know her super well, she’s not someone he saw on a regular basis.” That dramatically contrasts with the rumor most rampant on campus — that the $10,000 that allegedly flowed from McGee to Powell was for interpersonal services between them and them alone.

The fervor to prosecute the woman who reported she made brothel sprouts of her minor daughters is palpable throughout Cardinal Nation. In the quote of the year, Cox said, “She a whore” (not that there’s anything wrong with that) “and she’s interested in making money.”

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