The first casualties of the FBI’s investigation into bribery among college basketball assistant coaches appear to be University of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich.
Though not mentioned in Tuesday’s initial reports of a scandal involving payments to recruits to steer them toward schools under shoe-and-apparel contracts with Adidas, Louisville took action Wednesday. A news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern, according to si.com.
Evidence suggests that a Louisville assistant coach planned to send $100,000 to the father of freshman forward Brian Bowen, who committed to the Cardinals in June.
It’s the latest in a long string of scandals for Pitino, who holds a career record of 416-141, with two NCAA championships. He led Louisville to the title in 2013, his 12th year with the program. In 2009, he was part of an extortion battle with a woman he admitted to having sex with 2003, and who claimed was paid by Pintino to have an abortion.
At the time of his firing, Pitino was facing a five-game ACC suspension resulting from a 2016 recruiting scandal centered on the Louisville basketball program paying an escort service to have sex with recruits and their family members.
Jurich had been Louisville’s vice president and athletic director since Oct. 21, 1997. He was under contract through July 26, 2023.