Last month, Kentucky reeled with the news that the University of Louisville’s basketball program had used prostitutes to recruit basketball players. The news came with the publication of a salacious book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: An Expose of Sexual Recruiting Tactics from the Journal Pages of an Escort Queen by Katina Powell (the eponymous “escort queen”) and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dick Cady. According to Katina, over the course of four years, she and her girls had received over $10,000 for their services, which included oral sex, penetrative sex, dancing, escorting, and drinking.
Since then, Lexington and University of Kentucky (UK) aficionados have been experiencing a bit of schadenfreude, gleefully commenting on articles, the book, and message boards about what an unscrupulous piece of shit U of L is. One reviewer on Amazon has gone so far as to say that it is a “Great Read for Wildcat Fans!!!!!!” as if UK’s rival doing unethical things somehow improves UK’s standing. Sports fans, amiright?
However, what’s most disturbing about the whole situation is how gleefully people are heaping condemnation on Katina. One reviewer said, “This book is from the perspective of one person who clearly has no moral compass.” Another said she’s “Trash, just out for money. Will end up with being sued!” A third said, “The funny or sad thing is an attractive call girl would make in one night what these fat and ugly women made in 4 years. Real poor trash… Don’t support trash.” The final verdict seems to be, “I find it more disturbing that she names and pimps her own daughters than the alleged recruiting violations.” So what everyone is saying is that a university can totally hire prostitutes to have sex with potential players and their fathers and that’s cool (Shit happens, yo.), but if the woman they had sex with writes about it, she’s trash, worthless, and a complete bitch. Good to know.
Look, Katina Powell doesn’t appear to be a great person or role model. I grant you that. She does hire her daughters as prostitutes, gets semi-addicted to weed, and has epic fights with her youngest daughter. So, no, I’m not saying she’s the greatest person in the world, but isn’t it more important that college basketball programs think it’s acceptable to induce kids to sign up to their program by throwing sex at them? U of L willingly engaged in sex trafficking, potentially with underage kids. How is that not important to people???
So, yes, throw a little shade on Katina, comment on the somewhat shoddy editing job of the book, but take this accusation seriously. In Kentucky, sexual assaults go under-reported at college campuses with one out of every five students likely to experience sexual assault but 80% of the cases going unreported. Even if a scandal like this reflects badly on U of L, we need to take it seriously, and we need to place some of the blame on the coaches, the recruiters, the parents, and the students. It takes at least two people to commit a sexual act; the recipient should be held accountable too.
* Photo taken from: http://www.wdrb.com/story/30473256/defamation-new-plaintiffs-join-lawsuit-against-katina-powell-alleging-their-reputations-were-damaged