A statement released on behalf of Louisville men’s basketball Coach Rick Pitino said the university did not follow its own policy or his contract when announcing his unpaid administrative leave Wednesday.
“Coach Pitino stands by his previous statement — and that of the U.S. Attorney’s Office — that named and unnamed people perpetrated a fraudulent scheme on the university and its basketball program,” the statement released late Wednesday said. “The information disclosed thus far in the investigation is clearly insufficient to implicate Coach Pitino in any type of misconduct or other activity that would violate the terms of his contract.
“In sum, Coach Pitino has done nothing wrong and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. The rush to judgment is regrettable.”
Pitino and Athletics Director Tom Jurich were relieved of their duties Wednesday by interim university president Gregory Postel. Postel met with each briefly on Wednesday morning before announcing their suspensions in a 1 p.m. news conference.
Pitino was suspended without pay, and 10 days notice must be given to him by the board of trustees before he is fired. Jurich’s contract requires 30 days notice.
Louisville found itself at the heart of a federal investigation in college basketball corruption announced at a news conference Tuesday.
“Moving forward, Coach Pitino’s primary concern is for the well-being of the student athletes on the university’s basketball team, and in getting complete and accurate facts in the ongoing investigation,” the statement said. “Those facts will inevitably exonerate him.”