Last Updated Sep 27, 2017 1:11 PM EDT
Louisville put basketball coachon unpaid administrative leave Wednesday, the school announced. Pitino’s attorney told the Courier-Journal his client was “effectively fired.”
Athletic Director Tom Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave.
The news comes after a federal probe revealedto influence star athletes’ choice of colleges, shoe sponsors and agents.
Federal prosecutors said at least three top high school recruits were promised payments of as much as $150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the athletic shoe company. Court papers didn’t name the schools but contained enough details to identify them as Louisville and Miami.
A top Adidas executive and four assistant coaches were among 10 men charged Tuesday.
Louisville is already under NCAA probation over a sex scandal after an investigation into a Cardinals staffer hiring escorts for sex parties and to strip for recruits and players. The NCAA said Louisville must vacate up to 123 victories earned with ineligible players and suspended Pitino five games for failing to monitor staffer Andre McGee.
Pitino also had to testify in 2010 in a federal extortion trial for the wife of the school’s equipment manager, when he acknowledged under oath to having an extramarital affair with her in a Louisville restaurant.
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Pitino was not named in the federal documents, though the school acknowledged it is under investigation by the FBI.
Pitino said he was shocked by the allegations hours before the school made its announcement.
“These allegations come as a complete shock to me. If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorney’s 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,” Pitino said in a statement. “Our fans and supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”
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Source: CBS News – United States