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UofL athletic board votes to begin termination process as Pitino sues for breach of contract

UofL athletic board votes to begin termination process as Pitino sues for breach of contract

Things are about to get really ugly between Rick Pitino and the University of Louisville. According to WDRB, Pitino has sued the university for breach of contract, prompting the UofL athletics board to vote unanimously to begin the process to fire him.

Per Eric Crawford, Pitino’s suit claims that the university breached contract when it suspended him last week instead of giving him ten days notice of that suspension. The suit claims Pitino was also denied a chance to respond. After receiving the notice, the athletics board voted to begin the for-cause termination process, and here we are.

Never a dull moment…

[WDRB]


Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

Bobby Petrino skips meeting about Tom Jurich’s future

Louisville’s boosters and coaches continue to rally around Tom Jurich with one notable exception: Bobby Petrino.

This afternoon, UofL called a meeting of all of the head coaches and senior administrators and, according to 840 WHAS’ Will Clark, all were present and unanimous in their support of keeping Jurich on as athletic director…except Bobby Petrino. Petrino was mysteriously absent from the meeting, supposedly to prepare for Thursday night’s game vs. N.C. State. Normally, that would be a somewhat plausible excuse; however, when you consider that if Jurich is ousted, Petrino’s buyout is cut in half, from $8.5 million to $4.25 million in 2018, it doesn’t seem like such a coincidence, does it?

With some major jobs potentially on the horizon, like Tennessee, Petrino’s absence at today’s meeting speaks volumes. As he’s shown time and time again, he wouldn’t hesitate to jump ship for a better opportunity, and for once, given all the crap that currently surrounds the University of Louisville, would you blame him?


Read the suspension letters UofL sent to Rick Pitino, Tom Jurich

Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

At the start of this morning’s UofL Board of Trustees meeting, the suspension letters sent to Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich last week were made public.

Over the weekend, high-level boosters rallied around Jurich to stay on board as athletic director, which seems incredulous when you read Interim President Greg Postel’s letter. Postel blasts Jurich for not consulting him on the university’s $160 million deal with adidas and the negative media attention surrounding the department:

@WLKYMark

Per the letter, Jurich was placed on paid leave until the next Board of Trustees meeting, which was this morning. The meeting has ended and no announcements about personnel were made.

Meanwhile, Pitino was placed on unpaid leave, which can last until April 30, 2018 or until the FBI concludes its investigation:

@chriswnews

While no announcement on Jurich was made today, Postel did tell reporters that he expects to name an interim athletic director tomorrow. As we’ve learned with this scandal, a lot can happen in 24 hours, so stay tuned…


Top UofL boosters are pushing for Tom Jurich to return as Athletic Director

Despite every reason in the world to let Tom Jurich ride off into the sunset with Rick Pitino, several big-name UofL boosters are hoping Dr. Greg Postel brings Jurich back as the school’s athletic director.

James A. Patterson, founder of Rally’s and Long John Silver’s, and massive donor to the university, penned this eloquent letter voicing his support for Jurich:

So essentially, the school’s success in other sports outweigh Jurich’s full support of Rick Pitino following an affair/abortion/extortion scandal, allowing stripper parties in dorm rooms, and being part of an FBI investigation of the biggest NCAA scandal in history.

Again, Rick Pitino is the face of the school’s biggest and most prestigious sport, yet participated in scandal after scandal and embarrassed the university. Jurich whole-heartedly supported that, yet boosters are pushing for his return.

Back in 2015, Patterson, along with two other major UofL boosters, also wrote a letter in support of former president James Ramsey, giving the following examples of leadership his time with the school:

— More Fulbright scholars than Harvard.
— Record ACT scores.
— 5,000 students living on campus.
— Admission into the exclusive Atlantic Coast Conference.
— A vastly expanded campus.
— A foundation worth $1 billion.

Here was an excerpt from the letter:

“Jim Ramsey has been the driving force behind this record growth of the most meaningful asset in our community, our hometown university,” they wrote, while acknowledging the university has some issues, as does “any complex organization with thousands of employees and hundreds of departments.”

You can read the entire letter supporting Ramsey here.

That obviously didn’t help Ramsey’s case much, as he was eventually ousted as president and seen as a joke throughout the state of Kentucky.

We’ll see how it works with support for Jurich.


Parent of former Louisville star said “rival school” offered $100,000

Andy Lyons/Getty Images North America

In an interview with the New York Post, the father of a former Louisville basketball star claims a “rival school” offered his son $100,000 in the recruiting process.

“When my son was in high school, I was approached at an AAU tournament by someone from a rival of Louisville’s. He said, “If you want to go to our school, we can get you $100,000.”’

He didn’t accept any money because he wanted to do it the “right way” and maintain the obvious moral high ground that comes with attending THE University of Louisville as a student-athlete.

Going into the recruiting process, I knew one thing: I was proud of my son, and I wanted to protect him. I didn’t want to do anything that would jeopardize his future.
When talking to coaches, I made it clear that we weren’t looking for financial compensation.

Sure.

Though most Kentucky fans are worried this “rival” school means this has something to do with the Wildcats, don’t sweat it. He claims the Adidas reps pushed him toward a school in the Big Ten and another in the Big 12 with Adidas contracts.

As he started looking at schools, an Adidas rep tried to push us toward a school in the Big Ten and another in the Big 12 that Adidas had contracts with. There is no doubt they are surrogates for the schools. Adidas pushes their kids to go to Adidas schools, and it’s the same with Nike.

Quite honestly, we never let the Adidas rep get too close to us, but I’ve watched it with players who didn’t have a stable home. Families get preyed upon by sneaker reps all of the time.

So the father claims his son was a highly-recruited athlete out of high school that made a decision between “Louisville and another school that had National Championship titles and was no stranger to the Final Four,” with those two schools being the final two on his list. He also says his son was a former baseball standout, but played for an Adidas-sponsored AAU program since he was 13 years old.

Any guesses?

You can read the entire New York Post article here.


Rick Pitino: “Doesn’t matter if I am or not (Coach-2)”

Rick Pitino just participated in a phone interview with the Courier-Journal, and he took the “deny till you die” mentality to a whole new level.

When asked if he could confirm he was indeed “Coach-2,” the former Louisville coach said it “doesn’t matter if I am or not.”

Pitino says he is already packing his bags in Louisville and heading to Miami, FL.

“Right now it’s in the lawyers’ hands,” Pitino said in a brief phone interview. “I went to Miami. I’m selling my house (in Louisville). I love David Padgett. I love the boys. I hope they win the national championship. I’m not doing anything but laying low.”

Pitino later told the Courier-Journal that he has “(zero) to do with any of it and I’ll be vindicated.”

Deny. Till. You. Die.

You can read the rest of Jeff Greer’s article here.

In other news, several UofL boosters are making a late push to bring Tom Jurich back on staff, with board meetings expected to begin this week.

Instead of cleaning house completely, Louisville has hired a guy with Andy Miller connections as interim coach and people are honestly wanting Jurich to be retained. It never ends.


Tom Jurich said he would have fired Pitino if he knew he was “Coach-2”

Yesterday, several news outlets acrosss the country confirmed Rick Pitino as “Coach-2” in the FBI indictment papers.

As you guys know, Coach-2 is the one confirmed as the orchestrator of Brian Bowen receiving $100,000, with the ability to just “pick up the phone and call somebody, and say these are my guys, they’re taking care of us,” among other things.

With the confirmation, the idea of Louisville receiving the Death Penalty from the NCAA is entirely possible, and the basketball program could crumble with years of recovery time.

It was reported that Tom Jurich told Louisville interim president Greg Postel he would not fire Pitino, and if “he goes, I go.”

This afternoon, WDRB’s Eric Crawford reported that Jurich told him in a phone interview he would have “immediately dismissed” Pitino if he had known he was indeed “Coach-2.”

“The idea that I would turn a blind eye toward blatant violations of NCAA rules is preposterous,” Jurich said. “No information was presented to me naming Rick Pitino as “Coach-2″ in the FBI affidavit. If I had evidence that any coach or athletic department personnel ever willfully violated NCAA rules they would be immediately dismissed. But, I have never been presented with that information.”

Likely story, Tom.


New UofL head coach is former ASM client, son-in-law of Pitino’s close friend

New UofL head coach is former ASM client, son-in-law of Pitino’s close friend

What a hire by the University of Louisville today!

Not only did UofL introduce a 29-year-old with no head coaching experience as its new interim head coach, but it gave the job to the son-in-law of one of Rick Pitino’s best friends who was at Porcini’s the night the 15-second magic happened back in 2003.

Oh, and he is a former client of Andy Miller at ASM Sports. That’s pretty hilarious, too.

Of course I am referring to David Padgett, the only Louisville assistant coach expected to survive the latest scandal (because I’m sure he was unaware of any funny business in recruiting). Padgett has officially been named the interim head coach for the upcoming season and, boy, does he have a mess on his hands.

See ya December 29!

Hopefully it’s as memorable as last time:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbIYB3m52tk


The OTT Podcast: Talking Louisville scandal with Jennifer Palumbo

The OTT Podcast: Talking Louisville scandal with Jennifer Palumbo

This week on The OTT Podcast, Jennifer Palumbo joins me to talk about all the crazy developments in the Louisville scandal. Highlights include…

— The rise and fall of Rick Pitino

— How John Calipari coming to Kentucky led to Rick’s demise

— Why Kentucky fans shouldn’t be sweating

— What happens to Rick and Louisville now?

— Our initial thoughts on this year’s basketball team and the upcoming women’s clinic.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to “Kentucky Sports Radio” on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Rick Pitino texts Terry Meiners, wants you to feel sorry him

Rick Pitino texts Terry Meiners, wants you to feel sorry him

Rick Pitino is forever the victim, according to Rick Pitino.

Today, Pitino sent a text to his good buddy Terry Meiners to tell him this will be the saddest weekend of his life. Meiners then shared Pitino’s text for all to see:

I’m sure Rick will have a sad weekend without basketball, and he should because it has been his entire life.

But do we feel sorry for him? Not this guy. He’s played the victim role one too many times.

He brought it on himself.


Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Former Card has ties to sports agent charged in FBI probe

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The good people over at WDRB have now linked Christian Dawkins, the sports agent charged in the federal probe into college basketball recruiting, to Jaylen Johnson.

According to WDRB’s new story, Dawkins is the former director of the Dorian’s Pride AAU basketball team in Michigan, and Johnson was one of Dawkins’ star players in the summer of 2013. Johnson committed to Louisville in September of 2013 and left early for the NBA after this past season.

The Dawkins-Johnson connection was not cited in this week’s FBI report, but it provides another link in the Dawkins-Louisville connection.

And that’s not a good thing for the Cards.

WDRB

“When the grass is cut, the snakes will show. I gotta thank the little homie Nas for that, though.”


Dan Le Batard Show mocks Rick Pitino in “30 for 30” parody

Dan Le Batard Show mocks Rick Pitino in “30 for 30” parody

Need a good laugh? Watch Dan Le Batard and his crew mock Rick Pitino in this “30 for 30” parody.

The premise behind the clip is Rick Pitino is a vampire, and it’s hilarious.


Tom Crean not in the mix for UofL job and that makes me sad

Tom Crean not in the mix for UofL job and that makes me sad

Sadly, Tom Crean won’t be Louisville’s next basketball coach as Crean’s name is no longer in the mix for the job.

I’ve been told David Padgett will be introduced as the Cards’ interim coach tomorrow morning and that he will be the lone survivor from the previous staff.

Padgett has some big Yeezys to fill, but if he keeps hookers out of the dorm and cash out of recruits’ hands and his pants zipped after dinner, he’ll already be doing better than the last guy.


Bob Valvano says Tom Jurich treated him like crap

Bob Valvano says Tom Jurich treated him like crap

Once Rick Pitino and Tom Jurich are finally gone, you’re going to hear a lot of stories about how they were behind the scenes. For Pitino, most of what you will hear will be about how sad it is that it had to end this way. For Jurich, a lot of people will say he was a jerk.

ESPN Radio’s Bob Valvano isn’t waiting for Jurich to be officially gone to say how he really feels. Valvano went on the air and said, “For about 10 years, Tom has treated me like utter crap. And I don’t think I’ve deserved to be treated like that.”

“I’ll go you one better,” he continued. “There are a lot of people in this city who feel the same way, and didn’t step forward and still may not now.”

Valvano said if it turns out Jurich is not gone; his comments may come back to haunt him, but he’ll deal with that later.

You can hear everything he had to say here:


Courier-Journal: Law enforcement official confirms Pitino is Coach-2

Courier-Journal: Law enforcement official confirms Pitino is Coach-2

As Rick Pitino continues to deny any involvement, more and more people are coming forward to say he is Coach-2 in the FBI’s indictment.

The latest to report Pitino is indeed Coach-2 is Louisville’s own Courier-Journal, which confirmed through a source in law enforcement that Pitino is the one.

Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino is “Coach 2” described in the FBI’s pay for play investigation into college basketball, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly. [Courier-Journal]

Despite the many reports, Pitino maintains his innocence. His lawyer has released several statements saying Pitino was unaware of any of the allegations, and Dick Vitale tweeted that Pitino “VEHEMENTLY denied” any involvement when they spoke earlier today.

Louisville fans should be insulted by Rick Pitino’s arrogance right now. Does he think they’re all stupid???