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Rick Pitino shocked of Louisville’s reported involvement in FBI investigation

Rick Pitino

It may not shock those who’ve followed Rick Pitino’s career as head coach of the Louisville Cardinals basketball program, but the news of the school’s hoops program being under FBI investigation for corruption is decidedly serious.

Earlier, it was reported that the United States Department of Justice has zeroed in on 10 people, including four college basketball assistants in its investigation of anomalous recruitment processes, and while Pitino’s name has not been mentioned as of yet, he might have thought it’s just right that he releases a statement immediately.

“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.”

This isn’t the first time that Louisville basketball has been dragged to controversy under Pitino’s watch.  Just last June, the NCAA had announced its suspension of the head coach for the first five conference games of the upcoming season in relation to the program’s prostitution scandal in 2013.

It’s not yet known who the ‘bad actors’ are on the Cardinals’ system, but the crux of the allegations rest on a $100,000 payment Adidas allegedly paid the family of a high-end recruit to choose to play for Louisville in college and be the among the sports apparel’s endorsers once he turns pro, per the report of Thomas Novelly of Courier-Journal.

Whether he’s had a direct part in it or not, Pitino’s image as the program’s face is back in question again and by releasing a response right away, he’s hoping it’ll help him have a bigger space between him and this new controversy.