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Louisville’s Rick Pitino ‘effectively fired’ after alleged involvement in NCAA fraud, corruption scheme

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SYRACUSE, NY - MARCH 27: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts in the first half of the game anc during the East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Carrier Dome on March 27, 2015 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave on Wednesday after the school’s alleged involvement in fraud and corruption in recruiting.

Steve Pence, Pitino’s attorney, told the Courier-Journal early Wednesday afternoon that the coach has been placed on administrative leave but has been “effectively fired.”

Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich have been placed on administrative leave until the next athletics association board meeting in October, a source close to Jurich told WDRB News. One basketball player has been suspended indefinitely.

Louisville will name an interim basketball coach and AD in the next 24 to 48 hours, WDRB reports.

Federal criminal complaints reference a $100,000 payment from Adidas to Louisville freshman Brian Bowen, according to NBC Sports.

The move comes just a day after at least four NCAA basketball coaches were arrested by the FBI for their involvement in the scheme.

The charges come after a two-year investigation into criminal influence in NCAA basketball.

The coaches accused include Lamont Evans, an assistant at Oklahoma State University, Emanuel Richardson, an assistant for the Arizona Wildcats, Chuck Person, associate head coach at Auburn University, and Tony Bland, associate head coach of the University of Southern California.

Pitino released a statement on the allegations Tuesday evening, calling them “a shock.”

“These allegations come as a complete shock to me. 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.”

Louisville is currently on probation by the NCAA and Pitino is facing a suspension following an investigation into a sex scandal.