The turmoil continues at the University of Louisville.
The school announced Wednesday night that it had “parted ways” with assistant coach Jordan Fair, who had been on paid administrative leave amid a federal investigation into college basketball that implicated the Cardinals program and led to the departure of head coach Rick Pitino.
A school news release stated that it exercised an option in Fair’s contract to terminate him without cause and will pay him for 30 days.
Former U of L player David Padgett was last week named interim head coach. Padgett announced the hiring earlier Wednesday of Trent Johnson as an assistant coach.
Associate coach Kenny Johnson remains on paid leave as the investigation continues. Staffers Michael Bowden, Logan Baumann and R.J. Evans were placed in temporary coaching roles, though Padgett said one of them will return to his previous role now that he has a full-time assistant.
Trent Johnson’s 36-year career includes 17 as a head coach, most recently at TCU from 2012-16. He also has coached at Nevada (1999-2004), Stanford (2004-08) and LSU (2008-12), and been an assistant at several schools. Padgett said he had contacted “dozens” of candidates and gotten a lot of calls since taking over the Cardinals on Sept. 29 after one season as a Louisville assistant.
Padgett said during a news conference Wednesday that experience was the key factor in his search resulting in Trent Johnson’s selection.
“I literally could not have hired a better guy,” Padgett said. “He’s going to be great for me to lean on from an experience standpoint, a basketball coaching standpoint and he’s going to be absolutely incredible for our guys.”
Trent Johnson’s hiring comes before the school’s Athletics Association meets Monday to discuss terminating Pitino, who has been on unpaid administrative leave since Sept. 27. That board last week authorized university interim president Greg Postel to begin the process of firing the Hall of Fame coach after 16 seasons.
Fair was with the Cardinals for only one season after Pitino hired him out of Oldsmar Christian School in Tampa, Fla., in 2016. He was a program assistant during the 2016-17 season before being promoted to assistant coach last March.
Louisville will conduct the first of two Red-White public scrimmages Friday night, with the second Oct. 27. The Cardinals open the season Nov. 12 against George Mason.
The Cardinals have practiced without 6-foot-7 freshman Brian Bowen, who is still enrolled at Louisville. The player’s name was not released by federal prosecutors, but details in the criminal complaint make it clear investigators were referring to the high school All-American.