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Louisville’s Shame

Rick Pitino, who was once Kentucky’s savior, has helped to destroy Louisville’s basketball program.

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NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Michigan v Louisville
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 19: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts to their 69-73 loss to the Michigan Wolverines during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Rick Pitino and his boss A.D. Tom Jurich have both been placed on leave and effectively fired.

In Pitino’s case, his contract mandates a 10-day period before he can be terminated but his attorney says he’s been effectively fired.

PItino, who stepped in at Kentucky after that program imploded under Eddie Sutton and who did a magnificent job restoring UK’s credibility, leaves Louisville in ruins.

He’s gone from the Unforgettables to the Unforgivable. This is personal tragedy on a Greek scale.

Now Louisville has to find someone to coach the team in the short term. Assistant David Padgett’s reputation is clean enough to consider him but hiring a Pitino protege may not fly right now. Thad Matta is available if his health holds up, and John Thompson III isn’t busy. Nor is Tom Crean, but his former IU assistant Kenny Johnson is on Pitino’s staff and may be involved in the FBI investigation into the program. Third assistant Jordan Fair is quite new and not ready for a head coaching position so we doubt it’ll be him and that’s assuming (we think correctly) he’s not implicated.

This is going to be a fascinating hire. Stay tuned.

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