Louisville coach Rick Pitino has been adamant in the defense of his basketball program, taking every opportunity to deny allegations by an escort that has led to calls for him to step down.

Friday, he decided to take a different tact — passing on the opportunity to address the allegations on the national stage during next week's ACC media day.

A day after vowing to fans on his website that he "will not resign and let you down" in the wake of allegations that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee hired Katina Powell and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and players, Pitino announced Friday through the school that he was not going to attend the Atlantic Coast Conference media day next week in Charlotte, North Carolina. His decision comes on the advice of counsel due to the allegations.

"I do not want the allegations we are facing to negatively impact the other 14 institutions on what should be a great event to talk about the approaching basketball season," the 63-year-old Pitino said in the statement, adding that fifth-year transfers Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, and junior Mangok Mathiang would participate.

"I realize that while many would like to question me on the allegations, the NCAA does not permit me to speak on the subject."

But while Pitino made news by saying he wouldn't talk, other principal figures in the sex scandal did speak out on Friday.

McGee resigned as assistant coach at University of Missouri-Kansas City, saying he could no longer do the job as he fights "false" allegations by Powell that he arranged 22 shows while coaching at Louisville.

McGee, a former Louisville player, served as a graduate assistant and director of men's basketball operations at the school before coming to UMKC in 2014.

In his resignation letter to UMKC athletics director Carla Wilson, McGee said he couldn't perform his duties as a coach for the Kangaroos while also dealing with the allegations in Louisville.

"The university deserves a full time assistant coach and I am not able to provide that to the basketball team while the false allegations against me are being investigated," McGee wrote.

Scott C. Cox, McGee's Louisville-based attorney, told The Associated Press on Friday that he had no comment on his client or the case.

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