Louisville places Rick Pitino on unpaid leave amid FBI investigation
LOUISVILLE, KY — UofL Interim President Greg Postel said coach Rick Pitino has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, Vice President and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich is on paid administrative leave.
The announcements come one day after an explosive federal indictment linked the University of Louisville to a basketball recruiting bribery scheme.
One player, presumably Brian Bowen, but not named, is being withheld for NCAA activities.
UofL hopes to have interim head basketball coach and interim athletic directors named within 48 hours.
The difference in paid and unpaid leave is a difference in contracts with Pitino and Jurich.
The long term future for the two is to be determined at a later time, Postel said. Postel said Jurich was not asked to fire Pitino. The Board of Trustees will discuss Jurich’s fate on or before its Oct. 18 meeting.
Officials said they believe the FBI has been on campus. The University of Louisville is seeking advice from NCAA on how to continue the investigation into program.
Postel said there is no way to know if anyone associated with the university will be charged in the case.
He said decisions on other coaches will be made by an interim athletic director.
Board of Trustees chairman J. David Grissom said the board unanimously supports actions against Pitino and Jurich.
Pitino and Jurich each met with interim president Dr. Gregory Postel for less than 10 minutes Wednesday morning.
Pitino had nothing to say as he walked in or out of the building. WLKY’s Mark Vanderhoff said Pitino appeared to be fighting tears as he left Grawemeyer Hall.
As Jurich was walking into Grawemeyer Hall, reporters asked him several questions about his future with the university. Asked whether he’s concerned about his job, he replied, “I have no idea.”
After the brief meeting, reporters caught up with Jurich as he returned to his car.
Vanderhoff asked Jurich if he still had his job, to which Jurich replied, “They’ll be talking later.”
The indictment details bribes of assistant coaches and high school basketball players across the nation. It alleges employees with Adidas funneled bribes through third parties to steer players to Adidas-sponsored schools, like UofL, and to keep players with Adidas when they move to the NBA.
The indictment said two UofL recruits and two men’s basketball coaches were involved, but does not name them.
“While we are just learning about this information, this is a serious concern that goes to the heart of our athletic department and the university. UofL is committed to ethical behavior and adherence to NCAA rules; any violations will not be tolerated,” Postel said Tuesday. “We will cooperate fully with any law enforcement or NCAA investigation into the matter.”
WLKY’s Fred Cowgill, Dan Koob, Natalie Grise and Mark Vanderhoff are on the university’s campus and will update as more information becomes available.