Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges of fraud and corruption against coaches from seven NCAA basketball programs on Tuesday, including Louisville.
It seems to be the final strike for Rick Pitino. Pitino has been head coach of the program throughout a slew of scandals, NCAA probations and suspensions during his tenure.
University interim president Dr. Greg Postel placed Pitino on indefinite unpaid administrative leave, but the coach’s attorney, Steve Pence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday afternoon that he has been “effectively fired.”
The investigation found that assistant coaches and staff members were bribed to influence players’ decisions to sign with certain shoe and apparel companies such as Adidas. It also revealed certain recruits were paid as much as $150,000 to influence what school they chose to go to.
You can read a full overview of the charges as well as all schools involved here.
Highlights from University President
Dr. Postel held on news conference on Wednesday announcing the decision to place Pitino on leave. He also announced that athletic director Tom Jurich is on paid administrative leave. Postel said this is a typical response to allegations of this severity.
- Only 32 days from the Cardinals’ season-opener against Kentucky Wesleyan, Postel said they will announce a replacement for Pitino and Jurich within 48 hours
- Postel said he was more angry than embarrassed about the charges, because of the good work Louisville tries to do for their students and the community.
- Focusing on the university as a whole, Postel assured that the situation would not hold them back.
- Despite the dark cloud the charges have brought to not only the basketball program but the university, Postel ended on a positive note, reminding all that there are better days ahead.
The Sports World Response
Once the news of the investigation and its findings broke, the sports world swarmed with how to digest the situation.
Fox Sports’ College Football & NFL Draft Analyst Joel Klatt took to multiple shows to address how amateurism and the system in place for how college athletes are “rewarded” creates situations like this.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 28, 2017
ESPN college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg took his issue up with the coaches involved in the scandal, explaining that they didn’t fulfill their true role to their players.
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) September 27, 2017
Former collegiate coach and basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale gave an emotional response to the scandal on Sports Center.
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) September 27, 2017
The FBI said the investigation is still ongoing and it is already having effects on the basketball recruiting process.