rain
Sunday December 17th, 2017 4:30PM

Louisville board OKs firing of Pitino in hoops scandal

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville's interim president was authorized Monday to fire Rick Pitino because of a federal bribery investigation, a scandal that has shaken the university and brought down one of the most prominent coaches in college basketball.

The school's Athletics Association, a separate body of officials that oversees Louisville's sports programs, unanimously approved a resolution to fire Pitino after meeting for more than two hours on Monday.

Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave last week after law enforcement officials announced the probe and the school acknowledged its inclusion in the investigation . Though Pitino is not named in court complaints, Postel says the allegations violated his contract and provided just cause to be placed on unpaid leave.

Postel's next move after the vote is notifying the Hall of Fame coach of Louisville's plan to fire him after 16 seasons.

"The letter that the board has asked me to write will go through in detail and explain the logic," Postel said, "and that letter will be crafted as soon as possible."

Pitino's attorney, Steve Pence, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Athletic director Tom Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave and Postel said he plans to announce an interim replacement Tuesday.

The Monday vote came exactly two years after the revelation of a sex scandal that led to NCAA penalties for Pitino and Louisville this summer. Pitino and the university are appealing those sanctions, which could end with the vacating of the school's 2013 national championship.

Pitino pulled through that scandal but now must deal with the official end of his storied career with the Cardinals.

During a trustee board meeting, Postel released Sept. 27 disciplinary letters to Pitino and Jurich in which he called the allegations "disturbing and unprecedented."

David Padgett was named as Pitino's interim replacement Friday. The letters were released Monday as Postel and university trustees discussed the scandal for the first time.

Jurich is on paid leave pending review. Postel said he has talked with four department coaches and planned to meet with all of them Tuesday to explain the process of replacing Jurich.

"Very little time has passed since we all learned about these events, and last week my focus had to be on working with the acting men's basketball coach," Postel said.

"There needs to be acting leadership in place during this interim period, and we're intending to be very quick about that," Postel said. "I still have to do some interviews and do some due diligence."

The letter to Pitino states that the allegations in the complaint "insinuate a scheme of fraud and malfeasance" in recruiting — a contract violation providing just cause for his unpaid leave.

Postel said there was "vigorous" discussion among the athletic board about Pitino. He said the coach's profile weighs the same as any other university employee when it comes to discipline.

"I would have just as much angst and just as much need to do it correctly, no matter who it was," Postel said. "The fact that he has the accomplishments he does is really unrelated."

The president criticized Jurich for failing to update or consult the athletic board about his negotiation of the department's sponsorship extension with Adidas. Postel also called "unacceptable" the level of misconduct and alleged criminal activity, as well as the negative attention brought to Louisville.

Jurich's lawyer, Alison M. Stemler, disputed Postel's allegations in a Sept. 29 letter to him and emailed to media late Monday.

Stemler pointed out Jurich's Sept. 1 memo to university attorney Becky Strohm that said several university officials and attorneys participated in negotiations with the sportswear maker and assisted in at least 11 meetings. Jurich also wasn't aware of misconduct or criminal activity, the letter added, and did not "cause or contribute" to negative publicity for the university.

Louisville's intention to name an interim replacement for Jurich also suggests the school doesn't plan for him to return to work "in the foreseeable future." That would violate a contract clause requiring that Jurich receive 90 days' notice of termination without cause.

Pitino maintains he has done nothing wrong, saying in a statement Wednesday through his lawyer that the "rush to judgment is regrettable."

___

More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Brother says Vegas shooter was multimillionaire
A brother of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Craig Paddock says he was a multimillionaire who made much of his money investing in real estate. Eric Paddock told reporters Monday in Orlando that his brother was also an accountant for many years
4:31PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Protest leaders: We're not going away, in spite of arrests
Protest leaders in St. Louis say the arrest of a clergyman who was taken to the ground and subdued with pepper spray is the latest incident in which police have been responsible for "unnecessary and dangerous violence" against demonstrators
4:29PM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump helps Florida Democrats gain rare special election win
President Donald Trump has helped Florida Democrats achieve the improbable: Taking a state Senate seat away from the Republicans who have dominated state politics for two decades
4:21PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
QB Speight out for No. 7 Michigan, O'Korn in vs. Michigan St
QB Speight out for No. 7 Michigan, O'Korn in vs. Michigan St
3:54PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Interior watchdog investigating Zinke over charter flights
Interior Department's office of inspector general says it is investigating Secretary Ryan Zinke's use of charter flights
3:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
Different feel for champion Cubs heading into these playoffs
Different feel for Chicago Cubs heading into this year's playoffs
3:26PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Lynx force decisive Game 5 with 80-69 win over Sparks
Sylvia Fowles scored 22 points and the Minnesota Lynx beat the Los Angeles Sparks 80-69 on Sunday night to force a decisive Game 5 in the WNBA Finals
12:30AM ( 16 hours ago )
Joe Tiller, Purdue's winningest football coach, dies at 74
Joe Tiller, Purdue's winningest football coach, dies at 74; coached Drew Brees, led school to 10 bowls
5:27PM ( 1 day ago )
Cavs owner gets 'vile' voicemails after LeBron's 'bum' tweet
Cavaliers owner received 'vile,' racist voicemails after James called Trump a 'bum'
2:19PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Basketball
OJ Simpson is freed, with no word on where he went next
Officials at a remote Nevada prison where O.J. Simpson was set free after nine years for armed robbery arranged the former football and Hollywood star's dead-of-night departure to avoid public scrutiny
7:20PM ( 21 hours ago )
OJ Simpson freed to parole after 9 years for Vegas robbery
O.J. Simpson, former football great and Hollywood star, freed from Nevada prison after serving 9 years for armed robbery
3:30PM ( 1 day ago )
5 UNM players kneel during national anthem vs. Air Force
Five New Mexico football players knelt as the Lobos band played "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the conclusion of the first half of the game against Air Force.
10:59AM ( 1 day ago )
College Sports
Louisville tabs Padgett as interim replacement for Pitino
Louisville names assistant David Padgett as Rick Pitino's interim replacement as Cardinals' coach
11:43PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Pitino says he didn't know of money to recruits
Ousted Louisville coach Rick Pitino tells a radio host in a text message that he is sad and misses his players as they begin practice for a season already marred by a federal corruption probe
6:33PM ( 2 days ago )
The Latest: Louisville names Padgett as interim coach
Ousted Louisville coach Rick Pitino tells a radio host in a text message that he is sad and misses his players as they begin practice for a season already marred by a federal corruption probe
5:18PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Sports - Men's College Basketball
The Latest: Brother says Vegas shooter was multimillionaire
A brother of Las Vegas shooter Stephen Craig Paddock says he was a multimillionaire who made much of his money investing in real estate. Eric Paddock told reporters Monday in Orlando that his brother was also an accountant for many years
4:31PM ( 10 minutes ago )
Protest leaders: We're not going away, in spite of arrests
Protest leaders in St. Louis say the arrest of a clergyman who was taken to the ground and subdued with pepper spray is the latest incident in which police have been responsible for "unnecessary and dangerous violence" against demonstrators
4:29PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Trump helps Florida Democrats gain rare special election win
President Donald Trump has helped Florida Democrats achieve the improbable: Taking a state Senate seat away from the Republicans who have dominated state politics for two decades
4:21PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Derek Jeter's group closes on purchase of Miami Marlins
Derek Jeter's group closed on its purchase of the Miami Marlins, and he and new controlling owner Bruce Sherman will speak publicly for the first time about the deal at a news conference Tuesday
4:15PM ( 26 minutes ago )
High-rise sniper kills at least 58 at Las Vegas concert
A gunman on the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel-casino rained fire down on a crowd of over 22,000 at an outdoor country music festival, turning the expanse into a killing ground from which there was little escape
4:13PM ( 28 minutes ago )