Days after Rick Pitino was fired amid the latest Louisville men's basketball scandal, the school hired former player David Padgett to be its interim head coach. The deal is for six months, reports the Courier-Journal.
Padgett, 33, served as an assistant to Pitino last year, and he played at Louisville from 2005-08. He met with Louisville's interim president, Greg Postel, on the school's campus on Friday.
Pitino was fired after an FBI investigation revealed that a coach within the program facilitated a $100,000 payment to secure the commitment of a player believed to be Brian Bowen, who has been suspended indefinitely.
Pitino is also accused of being the person referred to in the federal suits as "Coach-2." If he is Coach-2, then Pitino is the man who called Adidas' head of global marketing for basketball to ask him to play Bowen more money. Phone records confirm that Pitino called Gatto just days before Bowen committed.
He released the following statement minutes after Padgett was introduced.
After leaving Louisville, Padgett played professionally in Europe. Ironically, Padgett was represented as a professional by agent Andy Miller, who is the founder of ASM Sports, the same agency that Christopher Dawkins worked for. Dawkins was arrested and faces federal charges for his role in bribing assistant coaches to encourage players to sign with ASM upon turning professional.
Padgett is tasked with repairing the image of a program that has been beget by multiple scandals over the past few years. Before he was fired, Pitino was suspended for the first five ACC games of the upcoming season and the program was put on probation for a prostitution scandal. Program officials allegedly hired prostitutes for parties for players and recruits.
There is also a strong possibility that Louisville will be heavily punished for this latest scandal, perhaps more so than other implicated schools given its troubled recent past.