Economy

Louisville basketball coach Pitino put on leave amid bribe scandal

Louisville basketball coach Pitino put on leave amid bribe scandal”

"The allegations in a criminal investigation being conducted by the United States Attorney's office and the Federal Bureau of Investigations are troubling to all of us", University interim president Greg Postel said. "Failure to do that would be a tacit endorsement of unethical and criminal behavior".

"[Louisville] did not give him prior notice of the disciplinary action or an opportunity to be heard, as required by university policy and coach Pitino's employment contract", Louisville said in a statement. In the statement released through Pence, Pitino added he was "committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable".

In a July meeting in a Las Vegas hotel room the Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded with video cameras, the complaint states, a sports agent named Christian Dawkins alleged that Pitino personally intervened and called Adidas executive Gatto to ensure Louisville won a bidding war against another school to land the recruit Bowen.

Pitino was put on leave after intense speculation that the coach would be fired Wednesday, after federal officials said bribes were paid to steer top high school recruits toward certain schools - and by extension, toward Adidas, the sports apparel company that sponsors those schools' teams.

Pitino, 65, took over at Louisville after spending four seasons with the National Basketball Association's Boston Celtics. Pitino was also under fire in 2015 when a former staff member hired escorts to entertain and have sex with recruits and players. Pitino said the sex was consensual.

Pitino, who is married, testified in court that he had sex with Karen Wise once at a Louisville restaurant in 2003.

"No one swings a bigger d*** than" Pitino at Adidas, Augustine said, according to the complaint.

According to an affidavit, Sypher met with Pitino and wrote out a list of demands, including college tuition for her children, two cars and paying off her mortgage in exchange for her silence. Sypher was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2011 and her sentence expired earlier this year. A former director of basketball operations was found to have provided strippers and prostitutes to players and recruits in a campus dormitory over several years.

October 2, 2015: The college basketball world is rocked by a book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules", in which escort Katina Powell alleges U of L staffer Andre McGee paid strippers and prostitutes to dance and have sex with U of L players and recruits in the team dormitory.

But his time in Louisville has been clouded by scandal. "There's only one person who knows the truth, and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do the right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here".

"This is my theory", Powell said on ESPN. "So we got to be able to fund this situation". Pence would not confirm or deny that Pitino is under investigation.

The scandal led to significant punishments for the basketball program and Pitino. Multiple investigations follow, including ones by Louisville and the NCAA.

Postel said Pitino's status will be determined at a later date while Jurich's future will be addressed by the University of Louisville's Board of Trustees on or before its next meeting on October 18. Pitino, who has a 416-143 record and a national title over 16 years at the school, was suspended by the NCAA for the first five ACC games of the 2017-18 season as punishment for that earlier case.



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