The first of many shoes to drop in the FBI's ongoing investigation into college basketball will apparently fall at Louisville, where athletics director Tom Jurich and men's basketball coach Rick Pitino have been placed on administrative leave.
Interim president Greg Postel said at a Wednesday press conference that Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave while Jurich is on paid leave, pending a review by the U of L board of regents to completed no later than its previously-scheduled Oct. 18 meeting. Postel said the school wants to have an interim AD and an interim coach in place "within 48 hours."
Word broke Wednesday morning that Jurich and Pitino were officially fired, though the school will have to work through the pair's respective contracts to untangle the web of HR policies as required in removing its two highest-profile employees.
According to reports, Jurich was asked to fired Pitino but refused, and then was fired himself.
Jurich met with Postel on Wednesday morning, donning a wardrobe choice that was anything but subtle.
Jurich has quite literally saved Louisville athletics department, piloting the Cardinals from Conference USA to the Big East to the American and then finally to the ACC. Along the way Louisville has won a men's basketball national championship, defeated Florida in the Sugar Bowl and reached the College World Series -- all while raising Louisville's athletics budget to $110 million, according to USA Today.
Widespread corruption pushed Jurich out the door, though. The Cardinals' basketball program was handed major penalties and stripped of their 2013 national championship in June after staffers arraigned for recruits to have sex with prostitutes, and then on Tuesday it was revealed the school is under FBI investigation after payments of $100,000 were arraigned to secure the signature of 5-star basketball recruit Brian Bowen. (Bowen has since been removed from all team activities.)
The school on Tuesday confirmed it was under FBI investigation.
While the FBI investigation and coming NCAA investigation are limited to basketball right now, but Jurich's ouster does have implications for Bobby Petrino and the Louisville football program. Namely, Petrino's buyout drops significantly without Jurich on campus.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.