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Report | Rick Pitino tabbed as Coach-2 in federal complaint

Alex Kolodziej



LOUISVILLE, KY - MARCH 04:Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino looks at the scoreboard in the second half during a men's college basketball game between Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Louisville Cardinals on March 4, 2017, at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville KY.Louisville Cardinals defeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71-64.(Photo by Chris Humphrey/Icon Sportswire)
Chris Humphrey/Icon Sportswire

Louisville Cardinals head basketball coach Rick Pitino was placed on unpaid leave on Wednesday following a FBI investigation into a corruption scandal surrounding college basketball. According to a report from ESPN, Pitino is “Coach-2,” who played a role in filtering money to a recruit,” in the federal complaint regarding the scandal.

Court records indicated that NBA agent Christian Dawkins told cooperating witness Marty Blazer that he helped funnel $100,000 to five-star recruit Brian Bowen — who has since been suspended — at the request of a coach who was billed as “Coach-2.” Additionally, court records indicated that Adidas executive Jim Gatto “spoke directly with Coach-2 multiple times in the days before [Bowen] publicly committed” to the ACC program.

A hotel meeting on July 27 in Las Vegas, which was bugged with cameras by the FBI the day prior, show Dawkins, Florida-based AAU coach Brad Augustine and an undercover agent discussing a plan to give Bowen and his family $100,000. According to FBI documents, Augustine allegedly said, “No one swings a bigger [expletive] than [Coach-2] at [Adidas]” and added “all [Coach-2] has to do is pick up the phone and call somebody, [and say], ‘These are my guys, they’re taking care of us.’

Per a sealed complaint against Gatto and others, the so-called “Coach-2” had phone conversations with Pitino on May 27 and June 1.

“On or about June 3, 2017, [Bowen] officially committed to [Louisville] in return for the commitment by Gatto and [Adidas] to pay $100,000 for his family,” the FBI complaint says, per ESPN.

Pitino must be notified of his firing 10 days before anything can be made official, per his contract.

Alex joined FanRag Sports in October 2014 as a college football columnist and breaking news writer. A graduate from Eastern Illinois, he enjoys long walks to the fridge and alternate jerseys. He doesn't trust anyone that likes yellow Starburst and swears that he will be reincarnated as an NHL third-line winger.