Rick Pitino has been fired as the head coach of the Louisville basketball program. The university fired him today shortly after letting go athletic director Tom Jurich, who reportedly refused to fire Pitino himself.
Pitino has been an institution in college basketball and an untouchable driving force in the incredible rise in the popularity and marketing spoils of the sport dating back to his days in the original Big East with Providence back in the ’80s.
But he wasn’t able to withstand the latest FBI investigation that threatens to rip through Louisvilles basketball program. And this time, arrests are possible. An investigation even larger in scale than the one they just recently settled would be debilitating for Louisville and spelled the end of Rick Pitinos illustrious college coaching career.
Louisville has fired Rick Pitino and AD Tom Jurich in fallout of bribery scandal
Coaches at some major programs have been taken into custody, as well as managers, financial advisors, and representatives of a major international sportswear company, the Department of Justice announced Tuesday. Louisville is supposedly one of the programs still being targeted by the Justice Department for funneling $100,000 to a recruit.
Everyone is now waiting for the indictments to flow.
Waiting for Rick Pitino to be fired like… https://t.co/9us8bZQJEE
Pitino says the allegations come as a complete shock to him, but his word wont carry much weight in light of a government investigation. Hes in the middle of another scandal that the sport of college basketball may never recover from and he informed his staff, prior to being fired, that he expected to get axed.
Pitino has survived battles with some of the greatest coaches and universities and hes survived more than one sex scandal that would have laid a mortal coachs career to waste.
It was just this past June that the NCAA handed down major punishment to the Louisville men’s basketball program and Pitino for violations involving players receiving sexual favors arranged by a former staffer after a lengthy investigation stretching back to 2015.
The integrity of the program was rocked to its foundation when a book written by escort Katina Powell accused former basketball staffer Andre McGee of paying for dances and sex on behalf of players and recruits.
Pitino was cited for a failure to monitor and was to be suspended for the first five Atlantic Coast Conference games in the 2017-18 season, and the school will be placed on four years of probation. Louisville also had to vacate records in which three student-athletes involved competed while ineligible and will have four scholarships reduced during its probationary period.
Pitino has had a reign that only kings enjoy, coaching in the NBA for the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics and in college for Kentucky and Louisville. But every great kingdom comes to an end and every great leader eventually falls.
Today, Rick Pitino got that call.