Yesterday, the sports world was sent a jolt when a federal investigation regarding fraud and corruption in regards to recruiting talent birthed charges against numerous college coaches and a top adidas exec. Today, sources tell ESPN that Rick Pitino and Louisville AD Tom Jurich are both out at the school following the basketball program’s involvement in said case. Sports Illustrated has further backed such reports, stating that Pitino is officially on unpaid leave while Jurich is on paid leave.
The allegations against Louisville claim that an unnamed player was paid $100,000 by adidas — the sponsor of the school — to ensure that he signed with the school.
It should be noted that Pitino was under fire for other controversy surrounding the Louisville program. It should also be noted that as recent as a 2014 Pitino criticized the role big brands play in the recruiting process:
“What I personally don’t like (is) I can’t recruit a kid because he wears Nike on the AAU circuit,” Pitino said at a 2014 press conference. “I had never heard of such a thing and it’s happening in our world. Or, he’s on the Adidas circuit, so the Nike schools don’t want him.” Pitino remarked that the situation was tough to address “because our pockets are lined with their money.”
At the moment, adidas stands as the brand most closely tied to the investigation due to their naming in the Louisville situation as well as an exec from the company being labeled in the FBI report.
Keep it locked to Nice Kicks as this case develops.