University of Louisville suspended head men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich on Sept. 27 due to the ongoing NCAA basketball corruption scandal.
UofL’s interim president, Dr. Greg Postel, announced during a press conference that the university placed Pitino on unpaid administrative leave and Jurich on paid administrative leave.
The university’s board of directors will decide on the full terms of both men’s continued employment or termination at a later date.
The FBI charged four assistant coaches with corruption for using money from brand sponsors like Adidas to persuade the parents of recruits to attend their specific university.
While no charges have been made against the university or a specific employee yet, “the allegations are serious,” Postel said.
Postel and the university’s Board of Trustees agree that it is vital for the university to stay focused on its academic mission and look beyond “dark days.”
“This [press conference] is just the first step in a multi-step process of continuing to make this school a great place of athletics,” John Karman, the university’s Director of Media Relations Communications and Marketing, said.
While university employees are working quickly to solve the problem, University of Louisville students want their needs as students and as citizens to be met.
“It’s unfortunate that people in power, who are running the campus, are doing things that the students know nothing about. This school is for the students, not for people to just do whatever they want,” Minouri Chou, a University of Louisville chemistry major and Class of 2016 Manual graduate, said.
University representatives were vague about what they will do specifically to address the corruption scandal, but they said they would try to keep the students’ best interests in mind.
“A lot of our best fans are our students and a lot of them are upset about what’s happened today. They are worried about what’s going to happen next but we do intend to rebound from this. We have strong leadership and we’re doing the right thing by addressing the problem head on,” Karman said.
Although university employees and students are confident that the problem will be resolved, many Manual students and teachers are worried about the university’s credibility and integrity. 108 Manual students from the class of 2017 attend the University of Louisville.
“Of all of the things that have happened over at the university in recent years, this is going to make things tougher on kids. [Manual students] are going to need to be cautious about jumping into University of Louisville athletics,” said Manual’s boys’ basketball coach, Mr. Just.
Junior India Reed (11, VA) committed to UofL during the fall months of her sophomore year to play field hockey. Louisville has always been her dream school and she will be attending no matter what the allegations against the university are.
“The scandals are devastating obviously, I mean what’s Louisville basketball without Rick Pitino? But I’m still excited to play for Louisville and I’m still looking forward to it,” Reed said.
The athletic board is going to spend the next 48 hours searching for an interim head basketball coach and director of athletics.
Here is the official press release from the university. Stay tuned to https://t.co/QNdv6QZdu9 for a full story. pic.twitter.com/DhIb9b3kmH
— Crimson StudentPress (@theCSPN) September 27, 2017