Rick Pitino Out As Louisville Head Basketball Coach After Second Scandal Engulfs His Program
LOUISVILLE, KY -- University of Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich have both been relieved of their duties. The move comes after the school was named in a federal indictment earlier this week, alleging corruption within college basketball.
WAVE in Louisville says that in a brief meeting with Louisville interim President Gregory Postel, Jurich was asked to fire Pitino but refused to do so. Subsequently, Postel has fired both Jurich and Pitino.
Pitino, according to ESPN and Yahoo Sports, said in a statement he was not aware of the fraud and corruption charges that brought the FBI to the campus as part of a national probe launched by the United States Department of Justice.
"These allegations come as a complete shock to me," Pitino said in a statement. "If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorney's Office that these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and their basketball programs, including the University of Louisville. Our fans and supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable."
One of the most successful college basketball coaches in history, Pitino is 416-143 in 16 seasons as Louisville head coach and is in the Naismith Hall of Fame with 770 career victories.
Already on probation for a scandal involving strippers and escorts entertaining recruits and other players in dorm rooms -- Pitino also said last year he was unaware of those actions -- the Louisville basketball program could face severe penalties depending on the outcome of the current investigation.
The FBI probe alleges coaches, agents and financial advisers linked to several different universities sponsored by sport apparel company, Adidas, bribed collegiate basketball players to sign with these schools. In return the recruits would sign endorsement deals with Adidas upon going pro.
According to multiple reports, one of these recruits was five-star Louisville commit Brian Bowen, although he is not named -- nor is Pitino -- in the complaint. Referred to as "Player 10" in the indictment, the report says Adidas representatives paid Bowen $100,000 to sign with Louisville.
Ten other people were directly named in the report put together by New York district attorney Joon Kim, one of them, former Pacers player Chuck Person, who is now an associated head coach at Auburn. Person has been suspended without pay by Auburn after the indictment says he took nearly $91,500 in bribes to push recruits towards certain financial advisors.
Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans, USC's Tony Bland, and Arizona's Emanual Richardson are accused of similar actions.
**24/7 NewsSource contributed to this article**
(PHOTO: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)