Louisville athletic board starts process to fire Rick Pitino after contract breach claim

The University of Louisville's Athletic Association Board voted Monday to terminate Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino with cause. Meantime, an hour earlier, an attorney representing Pitino reportedly delivered a breach of contract notice to the university for allegedly failing to properly notify Pitino -- and for not giving him an opportunity to respond -- when it placed him on unpaid leave last week.

Exactly why Louisville is now moving to terminate Pitino with cause after interim president Greg Postel wrote in a letter last week that he would remain on unpaid leave "until the conclusion of the investigation currently underway by the U.S. Attorney's Office in collaboration with the FBI or until April 30, 2018" is unclear. But Postel told reporters Monday he'll explain later.

Pitino has denied any wrongdoing.

But CBS News has identified him as "Coach-2" in the criminal complaint released last Tuesday. "Coach-2" is referenced nine times in the document -- including once when Christian Dawkins, a sports agent at the root of parts of this scandal that's touched at least eight programs so far, is quoted as saying he had "spoken with Coach-2 about getting additional money for Player-10's family," and that he'd told Coach-2 he needs "to call Jim Gatto, who's the head of everything" at Adidas.

Player-10 has been identified as Louisville freshman Brian Bowen. The criminal complaint states that Gatto conspired to funnel approximately $100,000 from Adidas to Bowen's family in exchange for the five-star prospect's commitment to Louisville, which has a $160 million apparel deal with the international shoe company. The criminal complaint also states that Gatto and Pitino spoke on the day Bowen enrolled at Louisville.

Brad Augustine was among those arrested Tuesday.

He's a grassroots basketball coach in Florida who is quoted in the criminal complaint as saying he expects Adidas to help fund payments to one of his player's family because "no one swings a bigger dick than [Coach-2]" at Adidas. "All [Coach-2] has to do is pick up the phone and call somebody [and say], 'These are my guys.' [And then] they're taking care of us."

Pitino has not denied that he's "Coach-2."

He's instead said it doesn't matter.

"[I had nothing] to do with any of it," he told <em>The Louisville Courier-Journal</em>. "I'll be vindicated."

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Gary Parrish is an award-winning college basketball columnist and television analyst for CBS Sports who also hosts the highest-rated afternoon drive radio show in Memphis, where he lives with his wife... Full Bio

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