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The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Pitino out at Louisville as school faces scandal


Rick Pitino, head coach of the University of Louisville men’s basketball team, has been placed on unpaid administrative leave amid the rumors of corruption and scandal in his recruitment process of college athletes.

Over the past few years, numerous scandals have erupted in Louisville. One of these scandals include the school been accused of soliciting strippers and prostitutes in order to entice high school prospects to commit to the university. These allegations began two years ago when escort Katina Powell released her book “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” in which she stated that a university staffer paid for prostitutes to dance and have sex with recruits.

As a result of these allegations, the team was banned from the NCAA tournament until further notice. Pitino claimed he had no knowledge of the events, but suspicions were raised as he is the head coach. Head coaches typically know everything that goes on within the team, and so for him to say that he had no idea what was going on came as a shock to everyone.

Now, he has been placed on administrative leave. Louisville’s Athletic Director Tom Jurich was placed on administrative leave. Pitino continually used the word “shocked” when speaking on these latest allegations, yet it could be said his days as a head coach are over. Pitino’s lawyer, Steve Pence said that the coach has, “in effect, been fired,.” according to the New York Times.  The school is now looking for an interim coach and athletic director to fill the void while the looming investigation continues.

An FBI investigation into several top NCAA programs found Louisville to be involved in “an Adidas-backed plan to funnel money to the family of a recruit, who would then agree to sign with Adidas-sponsored Louisville,.” according to ESPN. It was later revealed that the player would receive $100,000 in early June 2017 in exchange for his play at the school.

The FBI secretly videotaped an entire encounter in which Pitino’s assistant discussed these plans. The player has been identified by ESPN as Brian Bowen, a guard/forward who signed with Louisville. He is currently suspended indefinitely, while being withheld from practices and other team activities until further notice.

Prospects such as guards Anfernee Simons and Courtney Ramey have withdrawn their commitments to the school with their decisions coming about an hour after the news was announced.

The scandal will surely hurt Louisville, as their reputation has taken a hit in the past couple of years. Louisville now has zero commitments from the high school Class of 2018, with only one commitment remaining from the Class of 2019 (in-state guard David Johnson).

The scandal will also affect Adidas. According to ESPN, Jim Gatto, Adidas executive spoke directly with Pitino multiple times in the days leading up to Bowen’s commitment to Louisville. Additionally, Gatto funneled payments through Augustine’s Adidas-sponsored AAU program. “spoke directly with [Pitino] multiples times in the days before [Bowen] publicly committed” to Louisville and funneled the payments through Augustine’s AAU program, which is sponsored by Adidas. The ten men involved have been charged with bribery.

Pitino’s legacy won’t be defined by his consistent Final Four appearances or his incredible coaching skills and game planning. It won’t be defined by two national championships and an induction into the Hall of Fame. It won’t be defined by his 770 career wins since taking over Louisville in 2001. Rather, it will be defined by scandal, fraud, and deceit.

*Picture by Matt Wickham via*

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Pitino out at Louisville as school faces scandal