The scandal enveloping college basketball already has painted dirty a handful of schools and coaches.
You knew it wouldn’t be long before Twitter got in its licks. And, sure enough, we have a winner:
But it was no joke for Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who on Wednesday was placed on administrative leave by the university along with athletic director Tom Jurich amid the FBI’s corruption investigation in college basketball.
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Don’t expect Pitino to be back.
Steve Pence, Pitino’s attorney, told the Courier-Journal that his client is “effectively fired.”
ESPN reported that Louisville was identified as “University-6” in investigation documents, which claimed that there was an agreement between a Cardinals staffer, Adidas official James Gatto and others to funnel $100,000 to the family of a recruit who committed to the school.
“These allegations come as a complete shock to me,” Pitino said in a statement, evidently with a straight face.
Pitino has survived several scandals at the school, including the infamous one involving strippers who were hired by a former assistant to lure recruits.
This latest transgression likely will bury Pitino, but will Louisville basketball ever recover?
Some, including Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports, think that the program deserves the death penalty.
And this could be just the beginning as the FBI continues its investigation.
Four assistant coaches at high-profile universities were charged Tuesday in a fraud and corruption scheme, including Auburn assistant and former NBA star Chuck Person.
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An FBI spokesperson at Tuesday’s news conference announcing the charges warned other schools to come forward first.
“We have your playbook,” the spokesperson said. “... If you are involved in this, call us. It will be better for you to call us than for us to call you.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced charges stemming from an FBI investigation into top NCAA basketball programs that also involved a corrupt scheme with a major sportswear company.