ACC

Louisville officially fires Rick Pitino

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Rick Pitino

Sporting News

One of the NCAA’s dirtiest coaches has finally be ousted by his University.

Monday, Louisville officially fired head basketball coach Rick Pitno roughly three weeks after an FBI led investigation tied Pitino’s program to a massive recruiting scandal that transcended to multiple collegiate teams across the country and the shoe giant Adidas. Namely it was a criminal complaint filed that was unsealed on September 26th that accused at least one unidentified Louisville coach of funneling money to prospective recruits.

Pitino’s attorney Steve Pence however is arguing that his client “should be brought back” telling reporters after a one hour closed door meeting with the Louisville Board that essentially firing Pitino in this manner wasn’t the right way to proceed when it came to separating themselves from the head coach.

Per WDRB:

Pitino attorney Steve Pence met for more than one hour with the board while it convened in private. Pence declined to comment immediately after the board voted to oust Pitino, but told reporters earlier that the “right thing” would be to retain the coach.

Pence said the board ought to determine that the coach could not have known of the alleged criminal scheme.

“He should be brought back,” Pence said. “If the university wants to negotiate for him to leave at a later time, we can talk about that. But this is not the right way to do this.”

Meanwhile, Louisville is maintaining their firing of Pitino was for “just cause” and that they didn’t single out any one reason for coming to their decision. That statement may in fact be true giving Pitino’s run of off the court controversy which includes the still pretty fresh prostitution scandal that involved using on-campus hooker orgies to lure recruits rather than money and a extortion attempt by a women who reportedly had an affair with the former Louisville head coach.

And since the board is moving forward with the “just cause” approach they’ll look to save themselves roughly $40 million of the money still owed to Pitino in his contract.

That monetary figure however is setting up to be what could very well be a lengthy and ugly court battle between Louisville and Pitino.

Pence will more than likely argue the independent polygraph tests they say clears the coach’s name when it came to money going towards highly touted recruit Brian Bowen who seemed like a shoe-in for Michigan State until the Cardinals came out of nowhere to sign him.

However then there’s the report that Pitino took around 98 percent of the cash from the Adidas deal.

Anyways if you like dirty laundry of the NCAA nature to be aired. Then get ready for the Louisville vs. Rick Pitino battle that’s looming. It should be a good one.

 

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