Louisville head coach Rick Pitino is out at the university, according to reports. The ax unofficially dropped just one day after Louisville once again turned up in a bombshell scandal, this one orchestrated by the FBI. On Monday, the Louisville board officially terminated Pitino’s employment.
ULAA has voted to terminate Rick Pitino's employment "for just cause."— Jeff Greer (@jeffgreer_cj) October 16, 2017
The resolution from the University of Louisville Athletic Association: pic.twitter.com/fKYEBi2D1o— Jeff Greer (@jeffgreer_cj) October 16, 2017
Pitino was initially placed on unpaid administrative leave, but “effectively fired” from the university. Meanwhile, athletic director Tom Jurich had been suspended and placed on paid leave before officially being fired by the board on Wednesday.
To review: Louisville can't fire Pitino for "just cause" until it has informed Pitino 10 days in advance.— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 27, 2017
Otherwise they owe him $.
Multiple officials at other athletic departments have told SB Nation's Steven Godfrey that Louisville was expected to clean house.
Louisville has named assistant David Padgett the interim coach.
Pitino has released the following statement
Rick Pitino has released another statement, per his attorney. pic.twitter.com/6LhaRGOpNn— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 27, 2017
Louisville wasn’t named explicitly or charged in the FBI’s sweeping investigation on wide-spread corruption within college basketball, but it’s easy to identify the Cardinals as “University-6” in the indictment from the Department of Justice. The program allegedly worked with Adidas to send $100,000 to an unnamed recruit for his commitment to the program. That recruit appears to be McDonald’s All-American shooting guard Brian Bowen.
The report also details Louisville was working on securing a payment for a future recruit. An unnamed Louisville coach is recorded saying “we gotta be very low key” while noting the program was already in trouble with the NCAA.
This is unreal, where a U of L coach says "we gotta be very low key" since U of L is already on probation. pic.twitter.com/JfSLiQ5h1G— Jason Riley (@JasonRileyWDRB) September 26, 2017
Louisville was already on probation with the NCAA
Louisville has been no stranger to scandal under Pitino and Jurich. Most notably, the program was at the center of a sex scandal that surfaced in 2015 with allegations that the school provided strippers and escorts for players and potential recruits while on campus.
Louisville self-imposed a one-year postseason ban following allegations, but the NCAA still came down hard. The program was put on probation for four years while Pitino was suspended for the first five games of ACC play for the upcoming season.
Pitino maintained he had no knowledge of the operation during the 2015 sex scandal. He said the same thing following the FBI briefing:
Statement from Rick Pitino through attorney Steve Pence. pic.twitter.com/HcVzmnJwUc— Jason Riley (@JasonRileyWDRB) September 26, 2017
Pitino’s tenure at Louisville ends after 16 seasons, which includeed three Final Fours and one national championship in 2013. Jurich came to Louisville in 1997 and has presided over some of the most successful years for the athletic department, including a move to the ACC.