Louisville puts its only two remaining assistant basketball coaches on leave
Louisville removes assistant coaches Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair from the bench for now
Louisville interim head coach David Padgett is now on the only active member on the Cardinals' official coaching staff. The school announced Friday that assistants Kenny Johnson and Jordan Fair have been put on paid administrative leave.
"The University of Louisville has placed associate head men's basketball coach Kenny Johnson and assistant men's basketball coach Jordan Fair on paid administrative leave, effective immediately," the release states.
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino was put on unpaid leave on Sept. 27.
"We are in the process of executing our due diligence as it relates to an ongoing investigation and feel that this an appropriate step at this time," Louisville interim athletic director Vince Tyra said. "Our university will continue to fully cooperate with federal authorities in their investigation."
Johnson began at Louisville in 2014, after two seasons at Indiana under Tom Crean. Before the FBI's story became public, he was associate head coach to Pitino. In other words, the top assistant.
Fair was promoted to assistant in March.
"I first came across Jordan while recruiting some of his players at [Oldsmar Christian School]," Pitino said in March. "I was extremely impressed with his practice, his organizational skills and the way he related to his players. We're excited to have him replace Mike Balado and be a part of our staff. I'm very, very confident that he will do an outstanding job in recruiting as well as in scouting, preparation and coaching."
No one connected to Louisville has been named or charged in the FBI's probe to this point, but the federal complaint includes a wiretapped conversation between an unnamed U of L assistant and an undercover agent on July 27. This conversation came 42 days after the NCAA made its initial ruling and handed down punishments in the infamous escort case. Louisville was then and remains now on probation.
Louisville freshman Brian Bowen, a 2017 five-star prospect, is currently not being allowed to participate in any sanctioned athletic activities while his eligibility is reviewed. Bowen is believed to be "Player-10," whose recruitment -- according to the FBI's findings -- includes $100,000 in four payments prior to Player 10's commitment. The timeline adds up like this: The $100,000 was transferred, and soon thereafter Bowen committed to Louisville.
Pitino has expressed shock at the findings, though a CBS News has report claimed that Pitino is "Coach-2" in the FBI's criminal complaint. "Coach-2" is mentioned nine times in the complaint, including multiple conversations between the coach and James Gatto, who has been charged in the case. Gatto was Adidas' global marketing chief.
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