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.
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.