LOUISVILLE, Ky. >> Louisville plans to announce an interim replacement for longtime athletic director Tom Jurich, who has been placed on leave because of a federal bribery investigation, on Oct. 3.
“We don’t want to drag this out,” Greg Postel, the university’s interim president, said today.
Coach Rick Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave. Postel called the allegations as “disturbing and unprecedented” in Sept. 27 disciplinary letters to Pitino and Jurich.
David Padgett was named as Pitino’s interim replacement Sept. 29. The letters were released as Postel and university trustees discussed the scandal for the first time. The university’s Athletic Association was to meet later.
Jurich is on paid leave pending review. Postel said he has talked with four department coaches and planned to meet with all of them Oct. 23 to explain the process of replacing Jurich.
“Very little time has passed since we all learned about these events, and last week my focus had to be on working with the acting men’s basketball coach,” Postel said.
“There needs to be acting leadership in place during this interim period, and we’re intending to be very quick about that. I still have to do some interview and do some due diligence.”
Postel reiterated his feelings of being more “angry than embarrassed” by the latest scandal surrounding the program, which he stated in letters to Pitino and Jurich.
Pitino’s letter states that the allegations in the complaint “insinuate a scheme of fraud and malfeasance” in recruiting by him and his staff — a contract violation providing just cause for his unpaid leave.
The president criticized Jurich for failing to update or consult the athletic board about his negotiation of the department’s sponsorship extension with Adidas. Postel also called “unacceptable” the level of misconduct, alleged criminal activity and the negative attention it has brought to Louisville.
Pitino maintains he has done nothing wrong, saying in a statement Wednesday through his lawyer that the “rush to judgment is regrettable.” He is not named in the federal documents, but attorney Steve Pence has said Louisville “effectively fired” Pitino when it placed him on administrative leave.