Rick Pitino Says He Had 'No Knowledge' of Alleged Payment Made to Brian Bowen

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistOctober 18, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals  reacts against the Michigan Wolverines in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Rick Pitino continues to say he was unaware of any illegal activities that took place at Louisville under his watch.

During an interview with Jay Bilas on SportsCenter, the recently fired Louisville coach cited a lie detector test to prove he wasn't involved in payments for recruits.

"I was asked two questions," Pitino said, via ESPN.com. "And I said, 'I want you to ask me if any other recruits in my tenure were ever given anything.' And he [the polygraph examiner] said, 'That's not what we're here for. We're here for: Did you have any knowledge of the Bowen family getting any money? Did you have any knowledge of an Adidas transaction?'"

"I answered 'absolutely not' on both questions and passed the lie detector test," he explained. "So I had no knowledge of any of this."

An FBI investigation alleges that Adidas funneled money to a top Louisville recruit in the 2017 class, believed to be Brian Bowen. Justin Sayers and Phillip M. Bailey of the Courier-Journal reported Wednesday that Pitino had received a grand jury subpoena as part of the investigation.

Despite Pitino's claim of innocence, the University of Louisville Athletic Association voted unanimously to fire the long-time basketball coach "for cause."

The 65-year-old has responded by suing Adidas for damaging his reputation, according to Kyle Boone of CBS Sports.

One thing Pitino did regret during his SportsCenter interview was the mistakes of his assistant coaches.

"I take full responsibility for anybody I hire," he explained.

Assistant coach Andre McGee took the fall last season for a prostitution scandalinvolving recruits, resulting in a self-imposed postseason ban for the Cardinals. Fellow assistant Jordan Fair was dismissed this month as a result in the recent FBI investigation.


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