Louisville acting head coach David Padgett talks about scandal on 'We Need To Talk'
The Cardinals coach opens up about his relationship with Rick Pitino
Padgett, a Cardinals assistant coach who was promoted when Louisville placed Rick Pitino on leave after his role in an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball, talked with Tracy Wolfson and Allie LaForce on several topics.
Here are excerpts from Padgett's interview:
On getting back to basketball: "To be honest, the phrase [take it] day-by-day doesn't really apply in this situation. It's more like hour-to-hour, or even minute-by-minute. We've been able to get back to basketball the last eight or nine days since the season officially began. So it's been good to have practice. To have individual workouts. It's a little bit of, not a distraction, but a relief for the players to get back to focusing on why they are here, you know -- student-athletes. It's good to get back in the gym and focus on our team. We look to move forward and get ready for our first game."
On his relationship with Rick Pitino: "I've spoken to him a few times. We spoke a little bit the day he met with the team, obviously, right before he left. Look, I can't deny my relationship with Coach [Rick] Pitino. I wouldn't be at Louisville if it wasn't for him. But at the same time, I think he knows that he's prepared me to be a head coach as best he can, working for him the past four years. Obviously I didn't expect that head coaching job to be at Louisville taking his place. But, if I need to turn to him for advice on any kind of thing, I feel like I can. We'll always have a good relationship. But, he's going to let me run the program the best way that I see fit. At the end of the day, he knows that I'm in charge from this point forward, and he just wants me to do what I think is best. And I know that I have his full support."
On the influence of shoe companies: "Obviously there has been a heavy influence with shoe companies and the high school scene for a long time. Even when I was playing back in the early 2000's. Whether people make a big deal about it or not, each situation is different. Like I've been saying, my sole focus has been on the kids and this team. My first concern when all of this went down was them and their welfare. I've been in close contact with all of the players and their parents and I'm just trying to get these guys to focus on what is important right now. And that is this season."
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