University of Louisville Men’s Basketball Coach Rick Pitino “Effectively Fired”

The story abut bribery in college basketball is slowly unfolding and the first consequences are already here.

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Associated Press reported on Wednesday that University of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were placed on administrative leave by President Greg Postel. This is connected to the federal bribery investigation that currently shakes up college basketball. Steve Pence, Pitino’s attorney, spoke for Courier-Journal on Wednesday afternoon and said that Pitino is in fact “effectively fired.

Postel’s decision came after the University of Louisville acknowledged that its basketball program is under FBI investigation for allegedly bribing recruits.

I’m more angry than embarrassed,”- Postel said on Wednesday. “We will be looking for someone with integrity. … There’s no reason this team can’t have a good season.” He added that an interim coach would be announced within 48 hours.

In an ongoing investigation, 10 men were charged for college bribery scheme, including 4 basketball coaches and one Adidas executive. The investigation showed that “at least three top high school recruits were promised payments of as much as $150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the athletic shoe company.” Although court papers didn’t identify the school’s by name, they contained enough information to determine one is Louisville and other was Miami.

Rick Pitino coached NBA teams on two occasions, being HC of the New York Knicks (1987–1989) and Boston Celtics (1997–2001) before accepting the position at University of Louisville after Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum retired. In 2013 Pitino brought third NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships to Louisville after he already won it with Kentucky in 1996. This made him the only men’s coach in history who led two different programs to NCAA Championship. During his career as a collegiate head coach, Pitino has won 629 games and lost 234, which gives him .732 winning percentage (10th best from active coaches). Pitino was also elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

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