U of L Athletic Board Votes To Begin Process Of Firing Pitino

Oct 2, 2017

Credit Adam Glanzman/Daily, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

The governing body of University of Louisville athletics has given Interim President Greg Postel the go-ahead to begin termination proceedings against men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino.

The U of L Athletic Association unanimously approved the motion after meeting behind closed doors for about two hours Monday.

WDRB reports that earlier Monday, Pitino attorney Steve Pence served U of L with a breach of contract notice:

The breach of contract notice alleges the university failed to properly notify Pitino and to give him an opportunity to respond when it placed him on unpaid administrative leave last Tuesday.

According to Pitino’s contract, for U of L to fire or place Pitino on leave, it must first give him at least 10 days’ written notice of its reasons for doing so and afford Pitino an opportunity to “present evidence.”

This comes almost a week after federal investigators announced charges in a wide-scale corruption scheme in college basketball. Hours after charges were announced, Postel confirmed that the U of L men’s basketball program was linked to the scandal.

Pitino was placed on unpaid leave and Athletic Director Tom Jurich was placed on paid leave.

Assistant Coach David Padgett was named interim coach last week.

Postel spoke to reporters after Monday’s meeting.

“The board requested of me and authorized me to initiate the process of termination for cause as defined in coach Pitino’s employment contract,” he said.

Postel said he hopes to announce the appointment of an interim athletic director by Tuesday afternoon to take over the duties of Jurich, who is on paid leave as a result of the federal probe.

Postel has said Jurich’s status will be taken up by the board of trustees on October 19.

This school’s board of trustees met in executive session for about two hours Monday morning, presumably to discuss the athletic director position, but took no action.

Some U of L faculty attended Monday’s board meeting to voice their frustrations with the university’s decision to search for the school’s next president confidentially.

Faculty lined the wall of the meeting room with signs, including slogans like “Governance, yes. Secrecy, no,” “Faculty Voices Matter,” and “No Ramsey 2.0.”

 

Board of trustees chair David Grissom attempted to allay concerns at a previous board  meeting, saying “listening tours” would gather public opinion on the search this month.

He also said board representatives will have input in the search.