Kenny Johnson Hired by La Salle; Was Fired by Louisville amid FBI Investigation

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 8, 2018

LOUISVILLE, KY - JANUARY 19: Head coach Rick Pitino and associate head coach Kenny Johnson of the Louisville Cardinals look on during the game against the Clemson Tigers at KFC YUM! Center on January 19, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville defeated Clemson 92-60. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Former Louisville Cardinals assistant coach Kenny Johnson is joining the La Salle Explorers' coaching staff, CBS Sports' Gary Parrish reported Tuesday.

Louisville fired Johnson last November after the school became involved in the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball. Johnson hasn't been formally charged as part of the investigation, but the FBI alleged members of the Louisville staff worked with Adidas to pay the families of potential recruits.

According to Parrish, multiple head coaches pursued Johnson following his departure from Louisville, but those pursuits ended when university administrators intervened to halt any negotiations.

Parrish also reported Johnson's lawyer, David Lambertus, said United States attorneys overseeing the FBI case told him prosecutors see Johnson "as a potential witness in its case and nothing more," though that could change since the FBI's investigation hasn't concluded.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach reported last September the FBI was looking into claims a group that included Adidas executives and a former NBA agent conspired to pay the family of a prospective recruit $100,000. The request for the payment had allegedly come from a Louisville coach.

The FBI said it had telephone records showing the coach spoke with James Gatto, Adidas' director of global sports marketing, shortly before the recruit committed to the Cardinals.

In addition to Johnson, Louisville fired head coach Rick Pitino and assistant coach Jordan Fair. The Cardinals hired Johnson away from the Indiana Hoosiers, where he was a recruiting coordinator and assistant coach, in April 2014.


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