A few hours after Louisville placed him on unpaid administrative leave due to a recruiting scandal revealed by the FBI on Tuesday centered around a Cardinals recruit, coach Rick Pitino met with his lawyers and concocted a statement.
The statement indicates Pitino and his attorneys believe his fate has already been sealed and that he has been fired, although that is technically not yet the case. The statement also indicates that they intend to fight for Pitino's job.
"The University of Louisville placed Coach Pitino on indefinite unpaid administrative leave today. It did not give him prior notice of the disciplinary action or an opportunity to be heard, as required by University policy and Coach Pitino's employment contract. Coach Pitino has, in effect, been fired. The matter will now follow its legal course.
Coach Pitino stands by his previous statement -- and that of the U.S. Attorney's Office -- that named and unnamed people perpetrated a fraudulent scheme on the University and its basketball program. The information disclosed thus far in the investigation is clearly insufficient to implicate Coach Pitino in any type of misconduct or any other activity that would violate the terms of contract. In sum, Coach Pitino has done nothing wrong and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. The rush to judgment is regrettable.
Moving forward, Coach Pitino's primary concern is for the well-being of the student-athletes on the University's basketball team, and in getting complete and accurate facts in the ongoing investigation. Those facts will inevitably exonerate him.
Coach Pitino is represented by Steve Pence, Kurt Scharfenberger and Bryan Cassis."
According to Louisville employee policy, the university must give Pitino 10 days notice before formally firing him. The university and its Hall of Fame coach could be headed for a battle in court if both sides refuse to budge.