Ousted Louisville coach Rick Pitino told WHAS-AM radio host Terry Meiners in a text message that he is sad and misses his players as they begin practice for a season already marred by a federal probe that alleged corruption in the school’s basketball program and others in the sport.
Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave, though his lawyer says the coach was “effectively fired” after court documents said money was funneled from Adidas to the family of a recruit. Pitino was not named but was already under scrutiny for a sex scandal that landed Louisville’s hoops program on NCAA probation.
Pitino told Meiners in a text: “This weekend will be the saddest. So many years of opening day of practice. It’s been three days n I miss my players so much.”
Meiners posted the text on Twitter, saying he had permission from Pitino to share the sentiments.
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Louisville was one of seven universities described in three complaints that resulted in the arrests this week of four assistant coaches, an Adidas executive and several others.
Louisville also put athletics director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave.