Recently, news broke that at least four NCAA coaches, accused of fraud and corruption, were subject to FBI investigation. After news broke, it was reported on Wednesday that Rick Pitino was fired as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team.
The decision comes in the wake of an FBI investigation that alleged financial advisers, coaches, and agents bribed college basketball players and their families. Pitino denies the charges, and according to one source, claims that the FBI allegations came as a complete surprise.
“These allegations come as a complete shock to me,” Pitino said in a statement released Tuesday, according to the Washington Post. “If true, I agree with the U.S. Attorney’s Office that these third-party schemes, initiated by a few bad actors, operated to commit a fraud on the impacted universities and their basketball programs, including the University of Louisville. Our fans and supporters deserve better and I am committed to taking whatever steps are needed to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”
Coaches and Adidas executives are accused of funneling at least $100,000 to the family of a high school athlete to gain his commitment to play at Louisville and to sign with Adidas once he became a professional. So far, the player's name hasn't been released, yet some sources have speculated.
Charges were also made against Arizona’s Emanuel “Book” Richardson, Auburn’s Chuck Person, Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans, and Southern California’s Tony Bland.
In the aftermath of the FBI investigation, legendary college basketball analyst Dick Vitale joined the conversation. One website remarked that although the analyst may be 78 years old, he didn't hold back firing off on the biggest news in basketball, calling for all of the coaches to be fired.
“As a guy who LOVES college basketball, this NEWS is heartbreaking!” Vitale started off.
The ESPN broadcaster went not only on social media, but he also made his opinion available in a video that he shared on his Instagram account. You can watch the video below.
“There’s a cesspool that’s existing in college basketball and on the scholastic level,” Vitale said, blasting the NCAA eligibility requirements and AAU basketball. “Think about it. We have players gaining eligibility, all of a sudden reclassifying and becoming unbelievable Rhodes Scholars. We have scenarios in the AAU competition–the stories are unbelievable–how these AAU situations are out of hand.”
Any coach that has any knowledge of what is going on regarding fraud and bribery "MUST BE FIRED!"
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