On the heels of Tuesday’s jarring news that the Louisville basketball program is involved in an ongoing FBI corruption scandal, Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino has been fired.
Louisville, which is still set to face most of the consequences of the program’s prostitution scandal, had another huge one laid at its feet today, thanks to a release by the FBI.
After being identified as the school most likely to fill the identifying characteristics for one of the unnamed programs, Louisville confirmed that it is involved in the inquiry.
Now, it has taken the big step of relieving Pitino of his duties as head coach. ESPN’s Michael Eaves, who previously reported that Pitino told his staff that he expected to be fired, reported that the decision had been made, live on SportsCenter:
Live on SportsCenter, @michaeleaves reports that Rick Pitino has been fired
— Derek Volner (@DerekVolner) September 27, 2017
Courier-Journal writer Jeff Greer tweeted that Pitino was “misty-eyed” while leaving his meeting with Louisville school president Greg Postel.
No comment from Rick Pitino as he left his meeting with interim Louisville president Greg Postel. Appeared misty-eyed. pic.twitter.com/Iag7E9ME5T
— Jeff Greer (@jeffgreer_cj) September 27, 2017
It is unclear exactly what the timetable is for Pitino’s dismissal, due to a contract clause that gives Pitino 10 days notice.
Under Rick Pitino's contract, he can only be fired by UofL board of directors or a board subcommittee after 10 days notice. pic.twitter.com/UFAV6GClLZ
— Marcus Green (@MarcusGreenWDRB) September 27, 2017
The school is set to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. ET today.
It is unclear what Pitino’s role in this is, but at the end of the day, he oversaw a program that continued to commit major NCAA infractions while being investigated for a different, hugely publicized scandal that involved one of his assistants hiring prostitutes for minors.
It is always shocking to see a legendary figure of his stature fired this unceremoniously, but it was hard to fathom how he would escape yet another scandal of this magnitude.
We’ll continue to update as more comes out about the fallout for Louisville and the other schools involved.
Update: Interim school president Greg Postel has announced that Rick Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave, and that his status will be reviewed at a later date. It seems that this is probably due to the contract clause outlined above. We will continue to update as more comes out about his status.