Dear Commons Community,
Various media are reporting that the University of Louisville has fired long-time men’s varsity basketball coach, Rick Pitino. This comes after investigations of improper recruitment practices at a number of colleges. Here is the announcement as reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education:
“The University of Louisville on Wednesday put its athletic director and its head men’s basketball coach on administrative leave after federal prosecutors charged 10 people on Tuesday following a sweeping investigation of corruption in college basketball, the Associated Press reports. The charges included bribery, fraud, and corruption.
At a news conference, Greg Postel, Louisville’s acting president, said that Tom Jurich, the athletic director, was on paid leave and Rick Pitino, the coach, was on unpaid leave. Steve Spence, Mr. Pitino’s lawyer, told The Courier-Journal that the university had “effectively fired” the coach.
In a written statement, Mr. Postel said the university had learned of the scandal only when the Justice Department announced the charges.
“Today the University of Louisville received notice that it is included in a federal investigation involving criminal activity related to men’s basketball recruiting,” Mr. Postel said. “While we are just learning about this information, this is a serious concern that goes to the heart of our athletic department and the university.”
According to the Justice Department’s legal complaints, three high-school basketball recruits and their families were bribed with payments of up to $150,000 using money from the sportswear company Adidas.”
This is not good for big-time college athletics!