Louisville president states support for AD but does not do same for Pitino

James Ramsey has been Louisville’s president since 2002. (USATSI)

University of Louisville president James Ramsey released a 174-word statement on Thursday, as he met with the school’s Board of Trustees.

Two words not included in his statement: Rick Pitino.

The release from Ramsey is an update on Louisville’s cooperation with the NCAA and his offering on the state of the school amid a scandal that has rocked college athletics.

Ramsey is public in his “support” of longtime Cardinals athletic director Tom Jurich. But Pitino, a Hall-of-Fame coach, is not even referenced in the statement, let alone directly named.

Here it is, in full:

“As was stated last week, when we learned of the allegations toward our men’s basketball team, we immediately hired Chuck Smrt (sic) of the Compliance Group to undertake a complete and thorough investigation of the alleged misconduct. Chuck advised us that we should also report these allegations to the NCAA so they could join our investigation.

“For the past 18 years, Tom Jurich has served as athletic director of an exemplary program at UofL. 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.

“As I stated in the recent State of the University address, it is important that the university — all of us — stay focused on our day-to-day work of providing our outstanding students with a world-class education. 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.”

Here’s the photo of the release on paper.

Pitino, who is 63 and won almost 75 percent of his games at Louisville, won a national championship in 2013 and has taken the Cardinals to three Final Fours.

Absence of Pitino’s name in the press release doesn’t mean one thing or another explicitly, but it is certainly something of note.

Pitino won a national championship with Louisville in 2013. Some players on the 2013 title-winning team are alleged to have been beneficiaries of a paid escort service that threw parties and “shows.”

These allegations stem from a book, “Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen,” that was released late last week by Indianapolis-based IBJ Book Publishing.

Prior to Ramsey’s statement, CBS Sports reported a former Louisville recruit, JaQuan Lyle (now at Ohio State), confirmed to NCAA investigators on Tuesday some of the allegations made in the book. During a press conference last Friday, both Pitino and Jurich denied knowing an iota of these allegations prior to late August, when they were tipped off on the book and the coming firestorm.

Pitino also said the former Cardinals basketball staffer at the center of the case, Andre McGee, told him the accusations made by Katina Powell in her book were false. Pitino said McGee outright denied the allegations and at no point “did he own up to anything that’s being printed right now.”

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