Georgia Tech lost 77-54 to Louisville on Thursday to fall to 11-13 overall and 4-7 in the ACC.
But coach Josh Pastner had much more important things to worry about during the game, and spoke out after it. His Yellow Jackets hit the court just hours after he was named in a counterclaim to his defamation suit by the girlfriend of former friend Ron Bell.
Pastner’s attorney released a statement shortly afterward denying the incidents took place. The lawsuit naturally came up after the game, though, so Pastner himself took the allegations head-on.
Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner answers a question about a sexual assault allegation against him pic.twitter.com/mT6C1opSEo
— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) February 9, 2018
Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner addresses a question about sexual assault allegation brought against him. He said he is a victim in the situation and there is zero truth behind it. pic.twitter.com/MHqpdP364j
— Louisville Cardinal (@TheCardSports) February 9, 2018
Pastner’s original defamation lawsuit against Bell and Jennifer Pendley reportedly claims they defamed and attempted to extort and blackmail Pastner via threats to release false information intended to get Pastner fired and penalized by the NCAA.
CBS Sports reported in November that Bell claimed to be the person who provided benefits to a pair of Georgia Tech players in violation of NCAA rules. A former friend of Pastner but not a Georgia Tech employee, Bell claimed that he bought the players — Josh Okogie and Tadric Jackson — plane tickets, food and clothing.
Georgia Tech self-reported the violations and suspended both players, but said Pastner had no knowledge of the violations. Bell told CBS Sports that indeed Pastner did know.
The truth of the matter will come out sooner or later. But regardless of what the end result is, this has been an ugly story from the beginning.