Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich have been fired according to ESPN.
According to WDRB-TV in Louisville, Adidas hired Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich’s daughter month’s before it struck a $160 million deal to be the official shoe/apparel licensor for the school.
According to WAVE-TV in Louisville, athletic director Tom Jurich was asked to fire Rick Pitino, when he refused both were fired.
By Travis Duncan
Rick Pitino may be a goner.
An FBI probe has resulted in federal charges for at least four assistant coaches and the Adidas exec, James Gatto, director of global sports marketing for Adidas.
According to several reports, there is a “possibility” that the Louisville head basketball coach for the past 16 years, could be let go as soon as today.
Michael Eaves an ESPN SportsCenter anchor, today tweeted that according to people within the Louisville athletic department the expectation is that Pitino will be fired.
Eaves also reports that Pitino met with his staff today and told them he expects to be fired.
Pitino also met with university president Greg Postel today.
— Travis Ragsdale (@TravisRagsdale) September 27, 2017
Rick Pitino walking into the president's conference room pic.twitter.com/kLn5UTOuiD
— Jeff Greer (@jeffgreer_cj) September 27, 2017
Louisville Atheltic Director Tom Jurich also could be on his way out today. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports Jurich met today with Louisville interim president Greg Postel in a hurried meeting that took place today on campus and it was said to have lasted less than 10 minutes. Postel is also said to have been meeting with lawyers for the school and said they would have further comment later today.
A person inside the #Louisville athletic department tells me there's an expectation that Pitino (and likely Jurich) will be fired today.
— Michael Eaves (@michaeleaves) September 27, 2017
Of course, there is a legal mess, from several different angles.
So real is the possibility that Pitino could be fired his attorney Steve Pence has said his client won’t be fired without a bare-knuckled fight.
Pitino whether it be by design or out of circumstance, appears to be a master at the survive and advance game off the court. Scandal after scandal and he’s there on the sideline every November.
Part of his game is to play total innocence to the charges surrounding his program.
It was Pitino in 2014 that said, “We need to get the shoe companies out of the lives of young athletes.” Yet as ESPN’s Darren Rovel points out, no coach got paid more by a shoe company that year than Rick Pitino.
"We need to get the shoe companies out of the lives of young athletes." – Pitino in 2014.
No coach got paid more by a shoe company in 2014. pic.twitter.com/1DrmxjT5Ei
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 27, 2017
As with most prominent public university firings, there’s a board of directors or regents, and the board has to meet to make a decision.
Pitino’s contract calls for a 10 day written notice before he can be let go so that the coach could present evidence.
There’s a buyout which is allegedly set at around $44 million. The university needs to make sure it’s not paying Pitino, the school’s No. 1 money maker to sit on the sidelines. Like him or hate him, Pitino brings in dollars for the university in several ways, a giant shoe contract for the athletic department, ticket sales, TV revenue and more all hover around Rick Pitino as the head coach at Louisville. The school cannot just bring in another coach of his stature.
To fire Rick Pitino would be a major, major hit to the university financially and a decision they may not make as quickly as some might think.