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Rick Pitino addresses NCAA coaching scandal

Sam Robinson

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March 19, 2017 - Indianapolis, IN, USA - Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino and his team watch the final seconds against Michigan on Sunday, March 19, 2017, in Indianapolis, Ind. Second seed Louisville lost to seventh seed Michigan 73-69 (Photo by Sam Riche/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire)
Sam Riche/Zuma Press/Icon Sportswire

The FBI’s investigation into corruption by several college basketball coaches has reached Louisville, providing the latest issue for the university’s successful hoops program.

Rick Pitino addressed the scandal on Tuesday. Although the four assistant coaches named in this scandal were not affiliated with Louisville, the program was named in the investigation because of what would be a recruiting violation.

A Louisville 2017 recruit is alleged to have accepted a $100,000 bribe to join the program. An adidas executive wanted to allegedly pay $100K to the family of this highly coveted prospect to represent the company once he declared for the NBA draft. The criminal complaints released refer to this player as “Player-10,” but SI.com’s Charlotte Carroll points out the only prospect who fits the description of a player who committed to the university “on or about June 3” or almost “immediately after the bribe scheme” would be freshman Brian Bowen — a 5-star recruit.

This would be the latest batch of trouble for the Cardinals and Pitino.

These allegations come as a complete shock to me,” Pitino said. “If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorneys Office that these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and their basketball programs, including the University of Louisville. Our fans ans supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”

Louisville also released a statement.

https://twitter.com/uofl/status/912746699944325126/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.si.com%2Fcollege-basketball%2F2017%2F09%2F26%2Flouisville-bribery-fbi-coaches-corruption-fraud-scheme

This represents the latest hot water for this program, which already received a four-year probation, loss of scholarships and saw Pitino slapped with a five-game ACC suspension for its role in the “Stripper Scandal” earlier this year.

Beginning a sports-writing foray in his fourth state, Sam is a Kansas City product living in Cleveland. He’s worked as a full-time reporter and editor at daily newspapers, covering everything from Kansas City Chiefs training camp to national championship games to high school girls’ water polo. This occupation gave him the opportunity to win several awards and enabled treks to majestic locales like Mankato, Minn., Bakersfield, Calif., and Florence, Ala. In addition to the NFL, which Sam writes about for FanRag Sports and ProFootballRumors.com, he’s a fan of boxing, track and field and Nicolas Cage movies. He also covers high school sports for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And he’s just as shocked as you are that the Royals have a bandwagon. You can find him on Twitter @SRobinson25.

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