Louisville Basketball Coach Rick Pitino Fired

The school's basketball program is part of a federal corruption investigation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 16, 2017 3:01 PM CDT
Louisville Fires Rick Pitino Amid Corruption Probe
University of Louisville acting President Greg Postel responds to a question following the meeting of the Athletic Association board of directors, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. By a unanimous vote, the board decided to terminate Rick Pitino.   (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Louisville's Athletic Association has officially fired coach Rick Pitino nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe, AP reports. The association, which oversees Louisville's sports programs and is composed of trustees, faculty, students, and administrators, voted unanimously to oust the longtime Cardinals coach following a board meeting Monday. The ULAA heard from Pitino's attorney, who made the case Monday that his client "could not have known" about activities alleged in the federal investigation. Pitino has $44 million remaining in salary and bonuses in a contract extension through the 2025-26 season. He was scheduled to earn a base salary of $5.1 million.

The association had authorized university interim President Greg Postel to begin the process of firing Pitino for cause on Oct. 2 after Postel placed the coach on unpaid administrative leave Sept. 27. The move Monday officially ends Pitino's 16-year tenure with the program, a run that included winning the 2013 NCAA championship but was tarnished by several embarrassing off-court incidents. Pitino, 65, is not named in court complaints in the federal probe but Postel said in a disciplinary letter that the allegations violated his contract. Ten people that have been arrested in the corruption case, including four college assistant coaches and an Adidas executive. Pitino was 416-143 with Louisville, including 25-9 last season.

(Read more Louisville stories.)

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