Basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich out at Louisville

Alicia Farmer
October 1, 2017

A day after federal officials revealed an investigation into a widespread alleged kickback scheme in big-time college basketball, Rick Pitino, the University of Louisville's head men's basketball coach, and Tom Jurich, its athletics director, were both placed on administrative leave.

As part of that investigation, Jim Gatto, the director of global sports marketing for basketball at Adidas, was scooped up for allegedly participating in a scheme to defraud universities and make bribe payments to the families of high school student-athletes.

The investigation revealed the "dark underbelly of college basketball" where coaches, managers and sportswear companies "exploited the hoop dreams of students from around the country", said Joon H. Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY.

"If you yourself engaged in these activities, I'd encourage you to call us", said Joon H. Kim, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of NY. "We will support any and all efforts to ensure the integrity of our great game".

Pitino, 65, was 416-143 over 16 years at Louisville, including that 2013 NCAA championship. But there have been continuing off the court issues.

The school will hold a press conference at 1 p.m. on Wednesday without Pitino or Jurich present. "It's vital for this university to strictly adhere to NCAA rules and of course federal law". "Doing nothing would be a tacit endorsement of unethical behavior".

"We will cooperate fully with the investigation and will assist authorities as needed", USC said, "and if these allegations are true, will take the needed actions". It was at that point that Jurich rehired Petrino, who went 67-22 in his first three years back with the program prior to this season.

Postel added that the allegations "are troubling to all of us", adding no charges have been filed against the University of Louisville or any of its employees.

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Evans said it was necessary to use his influence over the youngsters early in their college careers because many of them are "one and done", meaning they play one year of college ball before joining the National Basketball Association, according to court papers. He was allegedly given the payments in exchange for his help in steering Auburn's basketball players toward services provided by the FBI's informant and a man named Rashan Michel, a former NCAA and NBA referee who owns an Atlanta clothing store that specializes in bespoke suits and counts numerous NBA and National Football League athletes as clients.

The parents of an unnamed player, who didn't commit to Louisville until June, apparently got $100,000 for their son to play for the Cardinals. He knows he might lose a game to that player in the future. "There's only one person who knows the truth, and he needs to come out and tell the truth to his teammates, to the University of Louisville, to his fans and to his coaches that have taught him to do the right thing for years and allowed him to be part of something special here". The complaint repeatedly refers to "Coach-2, " but people familiar with the case say that person is Pitino.

The payments were made at the request of "at least one coach" on that school's staff, according to the charging documents.

In response to a question about Auburn University's offer to refund men's basketball season tickets over one of its coach's alleged role in the corruption case, Postel said Louisville had not considered that.

In a statement released by his lawyer Steve Pence on Tuesday, Pitino said the latest allegations came as a "complete shock" to him.

DECOURCY: Well, there are four assistant coaches, including a coach at Auburn, associate head coach Chuck Person, as well as assistant coaches at Oklahoma State, Southern California and Arizona. Person and Evans were suspended, and Bland was placed on administrative leave.

Louisville players were upbeat and positive this week, per the source, who said the veterans are relying on their experiences from two years ago when the program self-imposed a postseason ban following the Katina Powell sex-for-pay scandal. The NCAA also placed the school on four years' probation and ordered the return of money received through conference revenue sharing.

In its punishment decision, the NCAA said it could not conclude that Pitino was aware of the activities, but did say that he "did not exercise sufficient oversight" of the program.

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