In what is almost certainly a coincidence and not at all a product of a notoriously calculated, petty former head coach being calculated and petty, Rick Pitino released a lengthy statement Friday afternoon regarding Louisville’s decision to fire him, minutes before the Cardinals announced his replacement. Pitino kept true to the previous statement he issued on Tuesday—the one in which he said the allegations “came as a shock” and were the result of “a few bad actors”—further denying any prior knowledge of his coaching staff partnering with Adidas executives to pay high school athletes for their commitments. While he doesn’t explicitly mention his intentions to take legal action, he adds that just as Louisville did what “they thought was necessary,” he will do the same. (Pitino’s lawyers have already threatened a “bare-knuckle fight” should the school fire him, claiming—like any good lawyer does when they’re defending someone who addresses facts as they suit their personal needs—that the facts of the case will “inevitably exonerate him.”) Pitino also gave a shoutout to since-fired Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich, who reportedly got the axe after he refused to fire the longtime Louisville men’s basketball coach. Meanwhile, Louisville introduced 32-year-old assistant coach David Padgett as the team’s interim coach for the 2017-18 season at a press conference scheduled for 5 p.m. Padgett, a former Louisville player under Pitino, said that the remaining Louisville staff members won’t know about their long-term job safety until the school hires an interim athletic director, which interim president Greg Postel said wouldn’t be until next week at the earliest.
Pitino apologizes to fans, but maintains he didn't know about paying recruits
Deadspin | Sep 30