A day after federal officials revealed an investigation into a widespread alleged kickback scheme in big-time college basketball, Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville's head men's basketball coach, and Tom Jurich, its athletics director, were both placed on administrative leave. Among the allegations: that recruits and their families received payments in exchange for committing to attend specific schools. Louisville interim President Gregory Postel confirmed the university has been informed it is part of the investigation and said it will cooperate fully. "Doing Nothing would be a tacit endorsement of potential criminal and unethical behavior". On Tuesday, Pitino released a statement saying he was "shocked" by the allegations. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. He testified in an extortion trial involving a woman named Karen Sypher in 2010.
Pitino had nothing to say as he walked in or out of the building. Pitino was to be suspended for Louisville's first five ACC games this season as a result of the scandal. Pitino has coached at Boston University, Providence College, UK and Louisville in college and the Knicks and Celtics in the National Basketball Association. Pitino claimed he was innocent.
Two days later, the player - identified as Brian Bowen by the Courier-Journal - unexpectedly committed to the University of Louisville. In 2016, reports said that the program paid an escort service to have sex with potential players, according to Sports Illustrated.
Powell told ESPN that she was paid $10,000 to supply dancers for those parties. Louisville did not name Bowen as that player.
Where does the Louisville program go from here? Now that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is hot and bothered, it is unlikely the nation's top high school players will have interest in the program for the next few years.
But Powell suggested Pitino had to know something about it. "He said that even though adidas had agreed to pay him $100,000, a rival athletic apparel company was "coming with a higher number, ' and he needed to get more money from Adidas to secure the player's commitment to Louisville".
Louisville was already reeling from the sex scandal.
The Board of Trustees will be the ones who make the call on whether or not Pitino and Jurich will be out of jobs.