Louisville, Ky. – — Louisville named assistant David Padgett as the interim replacement for men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, staying in-house to maintain continuity in the wake of a nationwide federal investigation of the sport.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Padgett said at a news conference on campus Friday. “It’s a very tumultuous time.”
Interim president Greg Postel made the announcement, two days after Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave after the school acknowledged its involvement in the federal investigation. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave.
Ten people have been arrested in the corruption case, including four college assistant coaches and an Adidas executive. Cardinals 6-foot-7 freshman Brian Bowen (Saginaw) was not named in federal documents, but details in the criminal complaint make it clear investigators were referring to Bowen. Postel also did not single out Bowen, but said Wednesday one student-athlete has been informed he will not practice or play for the university until the investigation is resolved.
Padgett said Bowen is still enrolled at Louisville.
When Padgett was asked how he could not know what was going on, he declined to comment but said he is taking the interim position for “the team.” After Postel introduced Padgett, the interim president did not take any questions.
“I’m not looking past the next six, eight months,” Padgett said.
Padgett, 32, is coming off his first season as an assistant following two as Louisville’s director of basketball operations. A three-year starting forward with the Cardinals under Pitino, he has worked extensively with frontcourt players.
Pitino, 65, went 416-143 in 16 years with the Cardinals and won the 2013 NCAA championship.
Earlier Friday, Louisville radio host Terry Meiners tweeted a text message from Pitino in which the coach said “It’s been so tough” dealing with his removal and, “I miss my players so much.” In a statement, he reiterated, “I had no knowledge of any payments to any recruit or their family. But I was the head coach and I will take ownership of my decisions.”
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said, “It’s been a tough week for our family” after his dad was placed on administrative leave.
Richard Pitino said he never saw anything while he was at Louisville that would corroborate the charges of paying prized basketball recruits.
Clarkston forward Taylor Currie decommited from Michigan’s 2018 class Friday.
Currie originally committed to Michigan in June as the first member of its 2019 recruiting class but decided to reclassify to 2018 shortly after his pledge.
He made the announcement he was reopening his recruitment for both 2018 and 2019 on Twitter.
Currie (6-foot-8, 200 pounds), a three-star recruit, is ranked the top power forward in the Midwest by Scout.com.
He’s also ranked the No. 8 prospect in Michigan by both Scout.com and 247Sports.
The 2017 Paradise Jam has been moved to Liberty in Lynchburg, Va., because of hurricane damage in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The eight-team tournament will be held from Nov. 17-19. St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands has hosted the tournament the past 17 years.
Besides Liberty, participating schools are Mercer, Drexel, Houston, Quinnipiac, Colorado, Wake Forest and Drake.
James Hawkins contributed