MINNEAPOLIS (AP) --€” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino is defending his embattled father, Rick Pitino, as allegations swirl around the Louisville program that a former staffer paid escorts to have sex with former recruits and players.

University of Minnesota

Richard Pitino spoke at Minnesota's media day Wednesday. He says he had no knowledge of the allegations while he was an assistant at Louisville and also says he knows his father had no knowledge, either.

Katina Powell wrote a book that alleges former staffer Andre McGee paid her and several other women to party with recruits and players from 2010-2014.

Richard Pitino was the associate head coach at Louisville for the 2011-12 season. He says the allegations were "very surprising."

Rick Pitino has denied knowledge of the activities that Powell alleges in her book.