Louisville fires Rick Pitino amid federal investigation


The official decision to fire Pitino was made during a board meeting for the Louisville Athletic Association on Monday afternoon but the process began on October 2 after the association authorized Postel to begin the process of dismissing the head coach for cause. The board began the process to officially terminate Pitino for cause early this month.

Postel made the announcement Monday, saying that Pitino's "actions and inactions" warranted his termination for cause.

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that the board met in executive session for almost five hours on Monday before announcing its decision. "We have to do what's best for the university".

"I do not dispute ULAA's right to terminate my employment at its discretion", Pitino said in his affidavit, via ESPN. "But I vehemently reject its right to do so "for cause.' I have given no 'cause" for termination of my contract".

Ten men, including a top Adidas executive and four assistant coaches, were charged by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on September 26. with using hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to influence incoming athletes.

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Pitino repeatedly said he was not aware of the fraud and corruption charges that brought the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the campus as part of a national probe launched by the United States Department of Justice.

Bowen, a freshman, has since been suspended indefinitely by the school and has retained an attorney in an effort to gain reinstatement.

On Monday, Pitino attorney Steve Pence presented a 55-page document that included several letters of support, including one from Pitino's replacement, interim Louisville coach David Padgett.

Pence said Pitino had no reason to question recruit Brian Bowen's commitment because his mother kept telling him, her son loved the staff. Pitino did question why Bowen's family was living at the Galt House at one point.

Pitino was placed on administrative leave one day after federal prosecutors in NY released a series of criminal complaints involving corruption and bribery in NCAA men's basketball, including the alleged bribing of a UofL recruit in a scheme that involved multiple agents, a high-level Adidas executive and at least one UofL coach. He was the highest paid coach in college basketball this year at $7.8 million, which includes a retention bonus and his personal Adidas contract, according to USA Today.