University of Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino hasn’t been charged with any crimes, but CBS News has learned he is the man referred to in court documents as “coach two,” someone who may have had a role in sending illegal payments to the family of a highly-prized recruit, reports CBS News’ Dana Jacobson.
Theinto men’s college basketball appears to have cost the Hall of Fame coach his job. The University of Louisville placed Pitino on unpaid administrative leave Wednesday and his lawyer said he was “effectively fired.”
Pitino, who led the Louisville Cardinals to more than 400 wins including the 2013 NCAA championship,left the campus on Wednesday in disgrace. He was expelled from the program he had built into a powerhouse by Louisville’s interim president, Greg Postel.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino placed on leave amid bribery scandal
Longtime Louisville basketball head coach Rick Pitino was placed on administrative leave Wednesday and is expected to be let go by the school. CB…
“It is vital for this university to strictly adhere to NCAA rules and of course federal law,” Postel said.
Federal prosecutors allege executives at Adidas funneled $100,000 to the family of a recruit, believed to be Brian Bowen, to play basketball at Louisville – a program Adidas sponsors.
Investigators allege Pitino, identified in court filings as “coach two,” spoke with an Adidas executive on the phone three times in what may have been an attempt to get Bowen’s family additional money.
“They’re sad. Their parents are sad. All of them now are watching their mentor go and that’s a lot to deal with when you’re 20 years old,” said Jeff Greer, who covers the team for the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
Pitino’s attorney said, “The information disclosed thus far … is clearly insufficient to implicate coach Pitino in any type of misconduct.”
All of this comes as Louisville is still dealing with the fallout from a previous scandal involving prostitutes and players – one that could cost the team its 2013 national title. As for the future, two committed recruits said on Wednesday they’re no longer coming to the school.
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Source: CBS News – United States