MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – University of Minnesota officials confirmed Wednesday night that the athletic department has not been contacted by the FBI in its recent investigation in college basketball recruiting.
Four college basketball assistant coaches and a top executive at Adidas were arrested Tuesday after an investigation by the FBI revealed bribery involving top recruits. In the latest investigation, federal prosecutors say at least three top high school recruits were promised payments of as much as $150,000, using money supplied by Adidas, to attend two universities sponsored by the athletic shoe company.
Court papers didn’t name the schools but contained enough details to identify one of them as Louisville, the other was Miami.
Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino was placed an unpaid leave on Wednesday. His lawyers state he was “effectively fired” as his contract states he must receive 10 days notice to be terminated for just cause. If they were to terminate him earlier, the school would face a financial penalty.
Pitino and the Louisville program were already under probation after a sex scandal involving escorts being in the team dorm for players and recruits, paid for by team officials, back in 2013.
For now, the Gopher basketball program, led by coach Richard Pitino, Rick’s son, is not being investigated. University officials said Wednesday they have not been contacted by the FBI and had no comment on the investigation, since the school is not involved in any way. Officials also said no individuals in the athletic department are being investigated, and nobody has been contacted by investigators.
Richard Pitino was not available for comment on Wednesday.
The assistant coaches arrested and charged include Chuck Person of Auburn, Emanuel Richardson of Arizona, Tony Bland of Southern California and Lamont Evans of Oklahoma State. Person and Evans have been suspended, and Bland was placed on administrative leave.