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Louisville Student Says Book Tarnishes Degrees

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CN) - A University of Louisville student says the value of her future degree has been hurt by a book claiming that the Cardinals men's basketball team was connected to prostitution.

Kyle Hornback's class action lawsuit says that Katina Powell's book "Breaking Cardinal Rules" has damaged degrees from the school and graduates' job prospects by detailing an alleged prostitution ring used for current and prospective Louisville basketball players.

Powell, 42, has been plastered all over national media echoing the accusations in her book, claiming that she provided illegal escort services and hosted multiple "stripper parties" in exchange for $10,000 over four years.

Powell claimed on ABC's talk show "The View" that her daughters Lindsay and Rod-Ni and other escorts were paid to have sex with the basketball players.

She has also claimed publicly that she wrote the book for money, but only after the NCAA, college sports' governing body, refused to hear her claims of activities that she says took place on Louisville's campus.

According to news reports, the NCAA is investigating Powell's allegations but investigations may be hampered as Powell's alleged Louisville contact, former basketball operations director Andre McGee, resigned from an assistant coaching position with the University of Missouri - Kansas City.

McGee, who is not a party to the class action lawsuit, is a key figure in the scandal because he allegedly hired Powell and paid her and the escorts for the parties.

Louisville men's basketball head coach Rick Pitino has denied knowledge of any such activities. He urged McGee to come forward in an interview with ESPN and Yahoo! Sports.

"There's only one person who knows the truth, and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do the right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here," Pitino said.

Powell's lawyer, Larry Wilder of Jeffersonville, Ind., says Powell's crimes of prostitution, while illegal, cannot be prosecuted because of Kentucky's one-year statute of limitations. However, the crime of promoting prostitution has no statute of limitation, Wilder said.

According to a WDRB report, Hornback believes that the book "will haunt the reputation of the school, tarnish her degree and damage her ability to get a job."

"I'm not going to get the money from the book. This has nothing to do with money at all. My intention is solely to prevent a criminal from profiting off of their crimes," Hornback told WDRB.

Hornback and the prospective class are represented by Nader Shunnarah in Louisville.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Jefferson County, Ky., seeks to freeze book profits for Powell and IBJ Book Publishing, her Indianapolis-based publisher. It also seeks compensatory and punitive damages.

The proposed class is limited to students currently enrolled at the University of Louisville.

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