Louisville places Rick Pitino, AD on administrative leave
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Rick Pitino couldn’t survive another scandal, with interim Louisville president placing the coach and his boss on administrative leave amid a nationwide federal bribery investigation that has rocked college basketball.
President Greg Postel’s decision came after the school acknowledged Tuesday that the program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits . The 65-yearold coach wasn’t named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.
Postel didn’t stop with Pitino; he also sidelined athletic director Tom Jurich, putting him on paid administrative leave. And though Pitino isn’t officially out of a job — he was placed on unpaid leave — the coach’s attorney, Steve Pence, told the Courier-Journal that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.
“I’m more angry than embarrassed,” Postel said Wednesday at a news conference, adding that an interim coach would be announced within 48 hours. “We will be looking for someone with integrity . ... There’s no reason this team can’t have a good season.”
Pitino has a 416-143 record over 16 years at Louisville, including a 2013 NCAA championship. But there have been continuing off-the-court issues.
Jurich, who has been at the school for nearly 20 years, has always supported Pitino through many embarrassing transgressions.
But Postel said, “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 unethical and criminal behavior.”