Former Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino says he had “no knowledge of any payments to any recruit or their family” Friday in response to the FBI investigation.
He released his statement almost at the exact moment Louisville introduced assistant David Padgett as their interim coach.
The ex-Louisville men’s basketball coach was “effectively fired” after he was put on unpaid administrative leave following the criminal complaint that coaches with the program participated in a scheme to pay recruits’ families.
Pitino issued a statement through his lawyer Steve Pence, the first time he has spoken since the story broke.
“There’s been a lot of turmoil the last few days and I’ve intentionally avoided making any public statements – primarily because so few facts are known. But I wish to make a few now.
“First, I want to thank all my players from Providence, UK and Louisville. Your support means more to me than I can possibly express.
“Second, to the many friends and fans who reached out to me in the last few days: I owe a thousand thanks and an apology for the disappointment you must have.
“Third, as I’ve previously stated, I had no knowledge of any payments to any recruit or their family. But I was the head coach and I will take ownership of my decisions. The University took the action they thought was necessary and I will do the same.
“Finally, Tom Jurich is the best athletic director in the country, and thanks to him I coached Louisville basketball for over sixteen years where we witnessed many great things. From conference USA, AAC, Big East and now the ACC. I am proud of our many accomplishments and appreciate the continued support of the Louisville community. Again, a thousand thanks.”
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Source: USA Today