Rick Pitino placed on unpaid leave by Louisville after FBI probe
The legendary coach, once again caught amidst a scandal, has been forced to leave Louisville on Wednesday.
University of Louisville men's basketball coach, New York City native and former New York Knicks head coach Rick Pitino has been placed on administrative leave by the school on Wednesday. Due to contractual restrictions, he is not yet fired, though his lawyer Steve Pence admitted to the Courier-Journal that this basically means that he will be terminated.
The school also reportedly fired athletic director Tom Jurich, who was initially asked to fire Pitino by the school. When Jurich refused, he was terminated as well. However, a Louisville spokesman stated the reports surrounding Jurich were false.
The leaves stem from an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in New York City which ended with 10 men being indicted, including Adidas executive Jim Gatto, on fraud and corruption charges on Tuesday.
These men used bribes to illegally sway top high school prospects toward the school of their choice. It was Gatto that landed Pitino and Louisville in trouble as he offered $100,000 to an All-American prospect to join a school with an Adidas apparel deal. That school was Louisville.
Pitino and his program already were not in the good graces of the NCAA. The Cardinals were put on probation forced to abandon their 2013 national championship because a former staff member hired escorts to strip and have sex with recruits.
The 65-year-old has been the coach at Louisville for 16 seasons and ranks third on the school's all-time win list. Besides the one vacated national championship that was the program's third ever, he led the school to three Final Fours.
He was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013 after successful spells at Providence and Kentucky as well. But it looks like his coaching career, at least at the prominent Division I level, is over after his connections to such a major scandal.