Report: Rick Pitino out as Louisville coach

Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York explains the arrest of four college basketball coaches for their connection in a fraud scheme. (USA TODAY)

Rick Pitino is out as coach at Louisville.

ESPN and multiple outlets reported that Pitino was fired Wednesday.

Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich had short meetings with interim President Greg Postel. A news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET, and neither Pitino nor Jurich will be attending, Postel said.

There is language in Pitino's contract that says if he is to be fired for cause, he gets 10 days' notice and will have a chance to contest the decision.

 

 

Since taking over as the University of Louisville's head basketball coach in 2001, Pitino's tenure has been marked by on-court successes and off-court distractions.

The latest is an FBI investigation that says a coach at a university matching Louisville's description paid a recruit's family to go there.

Pitino, who is the highest paid coach in basketball, makes nearly $7.8 million a year, according to USA TODAY's salary database. He has coached at the collegiate level at Boston University, Providence College, The University of Kentucky and Louisville. He also coached the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics in the NBA.

During his nearly 30-year coaching career, he has won 770 games at the college level, two national championships and made seven Final Fours. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.

Here's a look at some of the highs and lows during his tenure at Louisville:

March 21, 2001: After four seasons as head coach of the Boston Celtics, Pitino returned to college — and the state of Kentucky — following the retirement of U of L head coach Denny Crum.

March 26, 2005: In just his fourth season at Louisville, Pitino's team makes the Final Four after beating West Virginia, 93-85 in overtime. It was Louisville's first Final Four appearance since 1986 and the first of three under Pitino.

April 19, 2009: Pitino releases a statement saying he was the target of an extortion attempt. He later admits to having sex with Karen Sypher, the wife of a University of Louisville equipment manager, and having paid $3,000 for her to have an abortion. Sypher was later convicted of extortion. Pitino apologized.

April 8, 2013: After entering the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, the Cardinals defeat the University of Michigan to capture the school's third NCAA men's basketball championship.

Oct. 2, 2015: The college basketball world is rocked by a book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules," in which escort Katina Powell alleges U of L staffer Andre McGee paid strippers and prostitutes to dance and have sex with U of L players and recruits in the team dormitory. Pitino said he had no knowledge of any of the events alleged in the book.

June 5, 2017: The NCAA, which opened an investigation into the allegations,suspends Pitino for the first five ACC games of the upcoming season and hits University of Louisville with a "vacation of basketball records in which student-athletes competed while ineligible." The school is appealing that decision.

Sept. 26, 2017: An FBI investigation alleges that a coach from a public research university in Kentucky that matches the description of Louisville paid $100,000 to a basketball recruit's family. The school later acknowledged that the school's men's basketball recruiting was part of the investigation.

Contributing: Justin Sayers of The Courier-Journal in Louisville, part of the USA TODAY Network.

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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