Louisville's Athletic Association officially fired coach Rick Pitino "with just cause" on Monday almost three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe.
The ULAA resolution stated that Pitino's "actions (and inactions) violate sections 6.1.1, 6.1.2 and 6.1.3 of his employment contract and warrant termination for just cause". "'But I vehemently reject its right to do so 'for cause.' I have given no 'cause" for termination of my contract. The decision came 19 days after Louisville acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe and Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave for his alleged role in funneling $100,000 to the family of an unnamed recruit.
The basketball coach had been placed on unpaid administrative leave on September 27 after word of the investigation broke.
He took to twitter typing one message after another shortly after the UofL Athletic Association Board began meeting earlier that day.
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Athletic director Tom Jurich was also placed on leave last month and the school suspended associate head coach Kenny Johnson and assistant coach Jordan Fair on October 6.
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. Bowen was suspended indefinitely shortly after the FBI announced the results of the investigation. 'I never have had any part - active, passive, or through willful ignorance - in any effort, successful or unsuccessful, completed or abandoned, to pay any recruit, or any family member of a recruit, or anyone else on a recruit's behalf, as an inducement to attend UL'. 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.
As he did during the prostitution scandal, Pitino argued ignorance and claimed that head coaches of major basketball programs can not be held responsible for the shady actions of their employees. Pitino is owed more than $40 million under a contract that was to run through 2026, he said.