Reports: Rick Pitino fired at Louisville following FBI investigation
Rick Pitino has officially been fired by the University of Louisville in connection to an FBI investigation.
Pitino has dealt with a number of scandals during his coaching career. One of those scandals involved a Louisville staff member hosting parties with paid strippers for recruits. Pitino consistently denied having any knowledge of those wrongdoings, but the recent FBI investigation is one that he could not run from.
Marc Tracy with the New York Times shared the Louisville connection to the investigation:
The latter complaint said a senior Adidas executive, Jim Gatto, was in on an agreement to pay about $100,000 to the family of “Player-10,” a heavily recruited high school standout, to steer him to a particular college. While neither the player nor the university was named, descriptions of the institution matched the University of Louisville, which this summer signed a 10-year, $160 million apparel contract with Adidas.
It appears the investigation was the last straw for Pitino with the university. He has officially been fired as of Wednesday. Louisville AD Tom Jurich was also fired Wednesday.
Reports of Pitino’s firing were shared on Twitter:
Michael Eaves just got a text about Rick Pitino LIVE on @SportsCenter … "He's Gone."
— Nicholas A. Kovach (@TheKovach) September 27, 2017
According to sources, Tom Jurich was asked to fire Rick Pitino, refused, both were fired
— Kent Taylor (@KentTaylorWAVE) September 27, 2017
Live on SportsCenter, @michaeleaves reports that Rick Pitino has been fired
— Derek Volner (@DerekVolner) September 27, 2017
One ironic point is that Pitino once criticized the involvement of shoe companies with young athletes despite the fact that he himself largely benefited from shoe companies.
"We need to get the shoe companies out of the lives of young athletes." – Pitino in 2014.
No coach got paid more by a shoe company in 2014. pic.twitter.com/1DrmxjT5Ei
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 27, 2017
At this point, it is fair to question if Pitino will ever coach in the NCAA again. Pitino has won two national titles (1996 with Kentucky and 2013 with Louisville) and was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.