Today, the University of Louisville announced the formation of a $2.1 million ethical leadership program aimed at rebuilding its athletic department’s reputation. Unfortunately, it’s about 17 years too late for that.
The program will be funded by the school and Adidas, which is especially ironic considering that yesterday, former Adidas executive James Gatto, would-be agent Christian Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code, were convicted on felony charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Speaking of the college hoops trial, Rick Pitino’s attorney put out a lengthy response to the verdict today, claiming it proved there was “not a scintilla of proof that Pitino committed any NCAA violation, let alone any crime.”
Finally, the government was clear in its closing argument that no Louisville coaches knew about the scheme to pay Bowen Sr. And in the government’s rebuttal summation, it cited evidence that suggested the defendants took pains to avoid telling Pitino about their conspiracy.
Both sides in this case used Rick Pitino to further their own ends. Perhaps for publicity, perhaps to shift blame. At bottom, there is no proof that Rick Pitino knew about or was involved in the illegal payments. His banishment from the college game is unfair, unwarranted and unjust.
Did his lawyer miss the part where Bowen’s father admitted that former UofL assistant Kenny Johnson paid him $1,300 for rent? Because that definitely happened.