LOUISVILLE, KY– University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich have each been placed on administrative leave amid an FBI probe involving an assistant coach, the university announced on Wednesday.
Pitino, the head coach at the university, coached the Cardinals to the NCAA championship in 2013.
Pitino’s attorney, Steve Pence, told the Courier-Journal that Pitino was “effectively fired” in violation of the coach’s contract which requires 10 days’ notice before Pitino is fired to allow “an opportunity to be heard.”
The action against Pitino comes after the school acknowledged Tuesday that the men’s program was part of a federal investigation on alleged bribery of recruits which resulted in the arrest of 10 people, including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.
According to a report published by Sports Illustrated (https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2017/09/27/louisville-fbi-investigation-rick-pitino-brian-bowen) Pitino had a brief meeting with the school’s interim president late Wednesday morning appeared emotional as he left the room.
Pitino was already suspended for the first five ACC games of this season after an investigation into the program’s high-profile escort case. The FBI released evidence that a Louisville assistant coach had planned to send $100,000 to the father of an All-American recruit, named by many sources to be freshman forward Brian Bowen.
Interim president Greg Postel said on Wednesday that the school will work quickly to name an interim coach and athletic director and that replacements may be announced within 48 hours.
“I’m more angry than embarrassed,” Postel said. “We will be looking for someone [to replace Pitino] with integrity. There’s no reason this team can’t have a good season.
“It is vital for this university to strictly adhere to the NCAA rules and of course federal law. Failure to do that would be a tacit endorsement of criminal behavior.”