Louisville coach Rick Pitino was placed on administrative leave on Wednesday amid news of the university’s alleged involvement in a fraud and corruption scandal in college basketball recruiting.
ESPN reported earlier Wednesday that Pitino informed his coaching staff that he expected to be fired. He later met with interim President Greg Postille, who put Pitino on unpaid leave and athletic director Tom Jurich on paid leave.
Interim university president Greg Postel announced the moves at a Wednesday afternoon press conference which neither Pitino nor Jurich attended.
“I’m more angry than embarrassed,” Postel said. “We will be looking for someone with integrity. There’s no reason this team can’t have a good season.
“It is vital for this university to strictly adhere to the NCAA rules and of course federal law. Failure to do that would be a tacit endorsement of criminal behavior.”
On Tuesday, the FBI arrested 10 men — including four assistant coaches and an Adidas representative — for bribing high school recruits.
Louisville was one of the schools targeted in the federal investigation, according to multiple reports.
Louisville allegedly paid $100,000 to a top rated prospect to commit to the school. Postel said Wednesday that the player will not practice or play for the school until the investigation is resolved.
The university was already appealing a four-year probation from the NCAA after a sex scandal investigation, in which a former assistant coach brought escorts to campus for recruits.
Pitino, 65, was 416-143 over 16 years at Louisville, including the 2013 NCAA championship.
— Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.