The Latest: Louisville names Padgett as interim coach
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) The Latest on the corruption scandal in college basketball (all times Eastern):
Louisville has named assistant David Padgett as the interim replacement for men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, staying in-house to maintain continuity in the wake of a nationwide federal investigation of college basketball.
University interim President Greg Postel announced the appointment Friday, two days after Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave in the wake of the school’s acknowledgment of its involvement in a federal bribery investigation. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave.
Padgett is 32 years old and coming off his first season as an assistant following two seasons as Louisville’s director of basketball operations. A three-year starting forward with the Cardinals under Pitino, he has worked extensively with their frontcourt players while learning the ropes on the bench from his mentor.
The 6-foot-11 Padgett has also been Louisville’s strength coach (2010-11) in a career including three years as an IUPUI assistant.
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino says ”it’s been a tough week for our family” after his father, Rick Pitino, was placed on administrative leave at Louisville.
Rick Pitino is on his way out with the Cardinals after the program came under federal investigation in a nationwide bribery case. Richard Pitino says he never saw anything while he was at Louisville that would corroborate the charges of paying prized recruits.
Richard Pitino says he loves his father and is there for him as Rick Pitino goes through the ordeal.
Richard Pitino says he hopes the federal probe will eventually help college basketball by addressing some of the issues that have plagued it for years.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo says he’s disappointed and sad about the scandal that has shaken up college basketball.
Izzo, a Hall of Famer, says it’s a ”black eye” to have the sport involved in a federal investigation.
”I’m not sure that I would ever hope something that negative has to be done to clean it up,” Izzo says.
Izzo says the National Association of Basketball Coaches, where he is on the board of directors, met before the investigation became public.
He says he doesn’t think anyone knew or saw this coming.
”I’m sure we’ll have conference calls. I don’t think anybody has their arms around it yet or the depth of it or what actually is going on,” Izzo said. ”It’s hard to do anything or accuse anybody of anything until you really know is going on.”
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl says the behavior behind the arrest of his top assistant ”is unacceptable.”
Pearl deflected questions beyond that on Friday as he spoke with reporters for the first time about the Tuesday arrest of associated head coach Chuck Person on federal fraud and bribery charges.
Auburn has suspended Person without pay.
Pearl says he stands by the university’s initial statement on the matter, saying: ”I can’t and I won’t have any further comment.”
Pearl wanted instead to talk about his team, which opened practice on Friday. He was repeatedly asked about the federal investigation and each time declined comment or answered with talk about the season instead.
Person was among 10 people arrested in the corruption case, including four college assistant coaches and an Adidas executive. He’s accused of receiving $91,500 in bribes to steer Auburn players to financial advisor Martin Blazer and tailor Rashan Michel once they turn pro.
South Carolina’s athletic director says its men’s basketball program is not a target of a federal fraud and bribery scandal that led to the arrest of a former assistant.
Gamecocks athletic director Ray Tanner says even with the complaints from the Department of Justice, the school still plans its own review.
Tanner said in a statement that South Carolina will hire an independent group that specializes in NCAA matters to review any issues that came up with Lamont Evans, the school and the federal investigation.
Evans was an assistant for South Carolina under coach Frank Martin from 2012 to 2014. Martin hired him for his first job as a student assistant at Kansas State in 2008 and kept him as a graduate manager until he came to South Carolina.
Martin led South Carolina to its first Final Four last season.
Ousted Louisville coach Rick Pitino tells a radio host in a text message that he is sad and misses his players as they begin practice for a season already marred by a federal probe that alleged corruption in the school’s basketball program and others in the sport.
Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave, though his lawyer says the coach was ”effectively fired” after court documents said money was funneled from Adidas to the family of a recruit. Pitino was not named but was already under scrutiny for a sex scandal that landed Louisville’s hoops program on NCAA probation.
Pitino told WHAS-AM radio host Terry Meiners in a text: ”This weekend will be the saddest . So many years of opening day of practice.” Meiners posted the text on Twitter, saying he had permission from Pitino to share the sentiments.
Louisville was one of seven universities described in three complaints that resulted in the arrests this week of four assistant coaches, an Adidas executive and several others.
Louisville also put athletic director Tom Jurich on paid administrative leave.
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