According to several news reports, Louisville’s head basketball coach, Rick Pitino, has been fired in the midst of the school’s latest scandal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Athletic director Tom Jurich, has also been placed on paid administrative leave, according to interim president Greg Postel. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Following a three-year investigation, the Department of Justice has charged 10 people — including top Adidas executive, James Gatto, and four assistant coaches — connected to a corruption and fraud scheme through the Cardinals program. Investigators say they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence top players’ choice of schools, shoe sponsors, agents, and more. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The FBI released evidence that a Louisville assistant coach planned to give $100,000 to the father of an All-American recruit. Prosecutors also said at least three star high school recruits were promised payments up to $150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the shoe company. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pitino was already suspended for the first five ACC games of this season as a penalty for failing to monitor the program during a high-profile escort scandal last year. In 2016, an investigation revealed that the program paid for an escort service to have sex with players and their family members, a recruiting tactic used by former director of basketball operations Andre McGee. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“These allegations come as a complete shock to me,” Pitino said in a statement released by Pence on Tuesday. “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.” ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Other notable university coaches that have been charged in the corruption and fraud scheme are Emanuel Richardson of Arizona, Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans, Auburn assistant Chuck Person, and USC assistant Tony Bland.