Rick Pitino Reportedly Expected to Be Fired Wednesday After FBI-NCAA Probe

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2017

FILE - In this Sunday, March 19, 2017, file photo, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino walks off the court after a 73-69 loss to Michigan in a second-round game in the men's NCAA college basketball tournament in Indianapolis. The NCAA is standing by its allegations against the Louisville men's basketball program and Pitino, saying the coach failed to notice
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

ESPN's Michael Eaves reported Wednesday that Rick Pitino is expected to be fired as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team.

Eaves provided additional insight on Facebook:

"Pitino has told members of his coaching staff that he expects to lose his job over allegations the Cardinals basketball program is involved in a federal investigation into fraud and corruption in college basketball recruiting. ... Pitino 'knows it's coming' after a staff meeting of the basketball coaches Wednesday morning in Louisville."

Jody Demling of CardinalAuthority.com later reported Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich was fired, with Kent Taylor of WAVE-TV reporting Jurich was asked to fire Pitino, but refused, leading to their exits.

Louisville president Gregory Postel announced there will be a press conference at 1 p.m. EST and neither Pitino or Jurich will be in attendenance, per Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports.

According to ESPN.com, Louisville is part of an FBI probe that alleges coaches, agents and financial advisers linked to several different universities bribed collegiate basketball players.

Louisville is referred to as "University-6" in the complaint, but Louisville interim president Gregory Postel confirmed that it is the school in question.

The complaint alleged Adidas Director of Global Sports Marketing James Gatto, Adidas employee Merl Code, former agent Christian Dawkins and financial adviser Munish Sood worked together to funnel $100,000 to the family of a highly touted recruit.

That player is reportedly 5-star Louisville commit Brian Bowen, and Dawkins allegedly said a Louisville coach instructed him to pay Bowen and his family.

Pitino and the Louisville men's basketball team has been mired in scandal in recent years.

The NCAA investigated the program in 2015 after allegations surfaced that former assistant coach Andre McGee arranged parties for recruits that included prostitution, per ESPN.com's Myron Medcalf.

That resulted in Louisville self-imposing a postseason ban in 2016, and Pitino is currently set to miss seven games this season as part of a suspension.

Pitino is among the most successful coaches in college basketball history, with a career record of 770-271.

He is 416-143 in 16 seasons with the Cardinals, leading them to three Final Fours and one national championship. Pitino also reached four Final Fours and won a title at Kentucky.

The 65-year-old was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

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