LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - University of Louisville Interim President Dr. Greg Postel announced Monday the decision to fire embattled coach Rick Pitino was unanimous.
Postel spoke to reporters inside Grawemeyer Hall at about 2:45 p.m. Monday, after the UofL Athletic Association met for several hours to discuss Pitino's future, as well as the contracts of acting coach David Padgett and acting athletic director Vince Tyra.
"We felt the initial decision to begin the process of termination for cause was in the best interest of the university," Postel said. "That's why the resolution was put forward, and passed."
Steve Pence, the attorney for the Hall of Fame coach, spoke to reporters about the investigation the FBI announced last month, chasing allegations of bribery and corruption at several prominent college basketball programs.
"The right thing to do is to bring the coach back," Pence told reporters outside the meeting as it was still in progress. "If the university wants to negotiate for him to leave at a later time, we'll talk about that, but this is not the right way to do this. The coach did not engage in any of this activity, he didn't know about the activity."
Pitino was not mentioned specifically in the FBI's complaint on Sept. 26, but it appeared he was the infamous "Coach 2." Pence did not deny allegations that Pitino was "Coach 2." WAVE 3 News' Connie Leonard obtained an interesting screen-grab of a cellphone text message thread between Adidas executive Jim Gatto and Pitino:
"We presented our case as if coach Pitino was Coach 2," Pence said.
Added Postel: "These aren't easy conversations. We have to do what's best for the university."
Before the ULAA went into a closed-door executive session, the group approved Padgett's and Tyra's contracts. Padgett will earn a base salary of $400,000, with bonuses taking the one-year deal up to the $1 million range.