Written by Matt Norlander at CBS Sports.com
Louisville’s athletic department — specifically its men’s basketball program — is a disastrous, embarrassing quagmire. Rick Pitino, a Hall of Fame coach who took the Cardinals to a 2013 national championship (presently in danger of being vacated by the NCAA), is on unpaid administrative leave and surely to be severed from the university in an official capacity once the lawyers lawyer everything out. His boss and good friend, athletic director Tom Jurich, has been put on a paid leave and figures to suffer a similar fate.
“We’re not going to tolerate what we have learned about,” Louisville interim president Greg Postel said at a Wednesday press conference.
The official start of basketball practice is days away. The Cardinals don’t have a coach … and might not have any assistants from the current staff on the Louisville bench this upcoming season. Remember, the FBI’s unprecedented investigation into the shady world of college hoops recruiting includes, among a library’s worth of evidence, a Louisville assistant caught on tape this past July conspiring to receive tens of thousands of dollars in order to land a 2019 prospect.
This while Louisville is in the infant stages of its NCAA probation for the escort scandal, a case that is currently under appeal.
And then there’s Brian Bowen, a five-star recruit in the class of 2017 and current Louisville freshman. He appears destined to never attempt a shot on a college basketball court. Connect the fairly clear dots in the FBI’s complaint and you’ll see his recruitment, and the $100,000 payment allegedly supplied to his family, broke not only NCAA rules but — more importantly — federal laws. Postel did not identify Bowen by name at his press conference, but he did say one Louisville player is “being withheld from NCAA activities … indefinitely.”
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