Hall of Fame coach ousted amid bribe scandal
The University of Louisville placed basketball coachon unpaid administrative leave Wednesday, the school announced. Pitino's attorney told the Courier-Journal his client was "effectively fired."
Athletic Director Tom Jurich was also placed on paid administrative leave, interim President Greg Postel told reporters at an afternoon press conference.
The news comes after a federal probe revealedto influence star athletes' choice of colleges, shoe sponsors and agents.
Federal prosecutors said at least three top high school recruits were promised payments of as much as $150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the athletic shoe company. Court papers didn't name the schools but contained enough details to identify them as Louisville and Miami.
Pitino was not named in the federal documents, though the school acknowledged it is under investigation by the FBI.
Pitino said he was shocked by the allegations hours before the school made its announcement.
"These allegations come as a complete shock to me. If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorney's Office that these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and their basketball programs, including the University of Louisville," Pitino said in a statement. "Our fans and supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable."