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.