Louisville tabs Pad­gett as in­terim re­place­ment for Pitino

Porterville Recorder - - SPORTS - By GARY B. GRAVES

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — David Pad­gett un­der­stands re­plac­ing Louisville coach Rick Pitino would be dif­fi­cult un­der any cir­cum­stance.

So when Pad­gett ar­rived Fri­day for his in­tro­duc­tory news con­fer­ence as the Car­di­nals in­terim men’s bas­ket­ball coach, af­ter am­bling his 6-foot-11 frame to the podium and at­tempt­ing to pull the mi­cro­phone up to a com­fort­able level, he quipped, “I knew this was go­ing to be a prob­lem.”

It won’t be the last time he tries to get com­fort­able in his new po­si­tion.

Univer­sity in­terim Pres­i­dent Greg Pos­tel in­tro­duced Pad­gett, mak­ing the an­nounce­ment af­ter the school had ac­knowl­edged its in­volve­ment in the fed­eral in­ves­ti­ga­tion and placed Pitino on un­paid ad­min­is­tra­tive leave. Louisville also has placed ath­letic di­rec­tor Tom Jurich on paid ad­min­is­tra­tive leave.

“It’s not go­ing to be easy,” Pad­gett said. “It’s a very tu­mul­tuous time.”

Ten peo­ple have been ar­rested in the cor­rup­tion case, in­clud­ing four col­lege as­sis­tant coaches and an Adi­das ex­ec­u­tive. Car­di­nals 6-foot-7 fresh­man Brian Bowen was not named in fed­eral doc­u­ments, but de­tails in the crim­i­nal com­plaint make it clear in­ves­ti­ga­tors were re­fer­ring to Bowen. Pos­tel also did not sin­gle out Pos­tel, but said Wed­nes­day that one stu­dent-ath­lete has been in­formed he will not prac­tice or play for the univer­sity un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is re­solved.

When Pad­gett was asked about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, he de­clined to com­ment. He did say Bowen is still en­rolled at Louisville.

Af­ter Pos­tel in­tro­duced Pad­gett, the in­terim pres­i­dent did not take any ques­tions.

The 32-year-old Pad­gett seemed re­laxed and ap­pears ready to step in.

Pad­gett said he is tak­ing the in­terim po­si­tion for “the team,” but he is “not look­ing past the next six, eight months.”

He is com­ing off his first sea­son as an as­sis­tant fol­low­ing two as Louisville’s di­rec­tor of bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions. A three-year start­ing for­ward with the Car­di­nals un­der Pitino, Pad­gett has worked ex­ten­sively with front­court play­ers.

“My fo­cus right now is on these kids,” said Pad­gett, who added that he last talked with Pitino on Wed­nes­day. “They’re here to play bas­ket­ball.”

AP PHOTO BY TI­MOTHY D. EASLEY

David Pad­gett ad­dresses the me­dia af­ter be­ing named Louisville’s in­terim men’s bas­ket­ball coach Fri­day in Louisville, Ky.

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