New indictment says former Louisville coach Rick Pitino knew about and participated in payment scheme

By Scooby Axson
November 09, 2017

A federal indictment released Wednesday implicates that former Louisville coach Rick Pitino was fully aware of a scheme to pay a high school recruit and also participated in the planning.

According to the indictment, obtained by media outlets, including ESPN.com, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed a new indictment against Adidas executive James Gatto for attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a college basketball bribing scheme. Adidas executive Merl Code and sports agent Christian Hawkins were also named in the new indictment.

The indictment includes details of a meeting that took place in Las Vegas in late July, in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation was recording and videotaping.

Hawkins and others were there in attempts to provide money to the family of Louisville recruit Brian Bowen.

"Dawkins explained that while [Pitino] and the University of Louisville were recruiting [Bowen], Dawkins asked [Pitino] to call James Gatto to request that [Adidas] provide the money requested by the family of [Bowen], which [Pitino] agreed to do," the indictment said

The FBI announced on Sept. 26 that college assistant coaches Tony Evans of Oklahoma State, Auburn's Chuck Person, Arizona's Emanuel Richardson and Tony Bland of USC, and six other men to include Gatto were being charged with crimes relating to corruption and bribery.

Pitino has reportedly been identified as "Coach 2" in the original federal complaint, which alleges that coach spoke with Gatto via telephone about providing money to a recruit.

Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave the day after the FBI announced their charges and was fired three weeks later, leaving about $44 million left in salary and bonuses from his contract.

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