The University of Louisville's interim president on Wednesday said that head men's basketball coach Rick Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave amid a federal bribery probe.
"Effective immediately, Coach Pitino has been placed on an unpaid administrative leave," Greg Postel said during a press conference in Louisville, Kentucky. "Coach Pitino's employment will be reviewed at a later date."
"Effective immediately, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Tom Jurich has been placed on a paid administrative leave," he added.
"The leave will continue until the board of trustees has a chance to evaluate his continued employment at or before its regularly scheduled meeting on October 18."
Louisville on Tuesday acknowledged that its men's basketball program is part of a federal probe into alleged bribery and corruption involving major recruits.
Pitino was not named in an indictment that ultimately led to the arrests of 10 people, including four assistant basketball coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.
Rick Pitino's attorney on Wednesday told The Courier-Journal that the University of Louisville has "effectively fired" its head basketball coach amid a federal bribery investigation.
Steve Spence, speaking before a scheduled press conference conducted by the school, added that Pitino remains on administrative leave amid reports of his ouster.
Louisville on Tuesday acknowledged that its men's basketball program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of major recruits.
Pitino, 65, was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrests of 10 people, including four assistant basketball coaches at other colleges and an Adidas executive.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has been fired, a source told ESPN, and Athletic Director Tom Jurich has also been fired.
Pitino and Jurich met with Louisville interim president Greg Postel on Wednesday morning amid allegations that Louisville's basketball program is linked to a federal probe of corruption and fraud in the sport's college-level recruiting.
Postel told reporters that the school is holding a news conference later that afternoon, and that neither Pitino nor Jurich would be in attendence.
The Washington Post on Wednesday reported that several people allegedly conspired to steer top basketball recruits to Louisville, in one instance enlisting the aid of one of Pitino's assistants.
An executive from Adidas, which outfits Louisville's sports teams was also involved, and the families of the recruits in question allegedly received six-figure payments.
Pitino's firing would end his tenure coaching the Cardinals after 16 seasons, three Final Four stops and one national championship in Louisville.
The coach's departure comes mere days before practice begins for the 2017-2018 college basketball season, one in which the Cardinals were projected to be a top 10 team.
University of Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino has told members of his coaching staff he believes he will lose his job, a source told ESPN.
ESPN on Wednesday reported that Pitino’s expectations are based on allegations that Louisville’s basketball program is involved in a federal corruption and fraud probe.
A source told ESPN that Pitino “knows it’s coming” following a staff meeting of the basketball coaches that morning in Louisville, Kentucky.
Federal prosecutors in New York on Tuesday announced charges of corruption and fraud against 10 people involved in college basketball.
Federal criminal complaints accuse at least one coach at a “public research university in Kentucky” – identified as Louisville – as taking part in a recruitment scheme.
The plot allegedly featured Adidas funneling roughly $100,000 to an All-America high school player whom the Louisville Cardinals were recruiting.
Some Twitter users on Wednesday voiced support for Pitino’s coaching abilities, while others criticized his potential role in the unfolding college basketball scandal.
Rick Pitino has been in the middle of some of the dirtiest allegations but dude is and was a great coach— Barry Denton (@beedent) September 27, 2017
Rick Pitino is still the goat.— Jacob Manziel (@JakeofHtown) September 27, 2017
Idgaf, if he cheated.
A win, is a win, is a win.
ESPN reported that Pitino and Tom Jurich, Louisville’s athletic director, on Wednesday met with Greg Postel, the school’s interim president.
Postel said that neither Pitino nor Jurich will attend a follow-up press conference the school is conducting later that afternoon.
Pitino on late Tuesday released a statement describing the allegations about Louisville’s basketball program were a “complete shock” to him.
“If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorneys 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,” he said.
“Our fans and supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”
The FBI’s investigation focused on coaches getting paid tens of thousands of dollars to steer players bound for the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a certain direction.
The players were allegedly directed toward sports agents, financial advisers and apparel companies.
Indictments filed Tuesday additionally named assistant basketball coaches at Auburn University and Oklahoma State University.
The University of Arizona and the University of Southern California also had assistant basketball coaches identified in the probe.