Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino fired amid NCAA corruption investigation

Rick Pitino is officially out as Louisville basketball coach.

The association, which oversees Louisville’s sports programs and is composed of trustees, faculty, students and administrators, voted to oust the longtime Cardinals coach following a board meeting Monday.

Pitino had been suspended without pay since September 27 after an FBI investigation revealed athletic apparel giant Adidas allegedly arranged to funnel $100,000 to basketball recruit Brian Bowen so that he would sign with the Cardinals.

Pitino said in his affidavit that he met voluntarily with the Federal Bureau of Investigation after news of the arrests of 10 men broke in a case that shook college basketball.

He was asked two questions regarding his involvement in funneling money to Bowen’s family, and said “no” to both.

“The right thing to do is to bring the coach back”. But Pitino disputed there was “cause” to dismiss him. “I had not reason to know about the conspiracy described in the complaint and no reason to know about the complicity of any UL assistant coach or staff member in any bribery conspiracy”, Pitino said in his affidavit.

Pitino has $44 million remaining in salary and bonuses in a contract extension through the 2025-26 season. The attorney later distributed a detailed 55-page document that includes letters of support for the coach, including one from David Padgett, who was named as Pitino’s interim replacement on September 29.

Pitino’s lawyer distributed a 53-page defense of his client to reporters today. The association board is still meeting and has not announced its decision.

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