Rick Pitino First Head Coaching Casualty from FBI Investigation – Who’s Next?
As expected, Louisville put men's basketball coach Rick Pitino on administrative leave this morning, effectively ending his college coaching career. The news came less than 24 hours after an FBI investigation uncovered audio from a meeting this past summer in Las Vegas where a Louisville assistant brokered a deal with Adidas to give $100,000 to the family of a five-star recruit in order to secure his commitment to play for Pitino. Although the Hall of Fame coach said in a statement that he was shocked to learn of the allegation, Louisville wasted no time to finally cut ties with their head coach and athletic director Tom Jurich. It is ironic that a man who won a pair of national championships will be remembered more for his off-the-court scandals rather than his coaching achievements.
In addition to Louisville, four other major college basketball programs were identified by the FBI investigation. Four assistant coaches at USC, Arizona, Oklahoma State, and Auburn were among the 10 people arrested from the three-year FBI investigation involving bribes, corruption, and one of the largest shoe companies in the world. Thus far, none of the schools have taken similar action on their head coaches. However, Andy Enfield, Sean Miller, Mike Boynton, and Bruce Pearl could all have their days numbered as more information becomes available.
Yesterday, the FBI raided the office of high-profile sports agent Andy Miller and took his computer. There is no telling what other incriminating evidence could be uncovered in his hard drive. The scariest part of this ordeal is that the FBI does not operate on a deadline. This investigation could take additional weeks, months, and even years. Rick Pitino is just the first big name to lose his job. By the time the smoke clears, do not be surprised if many of the top basketball coaches and programs could all be involved in what will become the biggest scandal in sports history.