Rick Pitino Says He Was 'Assassinated' by Louisville's 'Board of Traitors'

Rick Pitino told ESPN he wants to coach again, but that he's bitter toward Louisville's "Board of Traitors."
Publish date:

Rick Pitino told ESPN that he feels he was "assassinated without evidence" by Louisville's "Board of Traitors."

"Every night I go to bed, I'm bitter at the U.S. Attorney's office and at the Board of Traitors at Louisville," Pitino said. "I'm not bitter at the school, but at the Board of Traitors."

Pitino was fired by Louisville after his program was implicated in the FBI's multi-year probe into widespread bribery, wire fraud and corruption in college basketball recruiting. Pitino himself is accused of facilitating a $100,000 payment to the family of Brian Bowen, a former Louisville commit who has transferred to South Carolina. 

"I've never offered any player five dollars," he also told ESPN. "I've been assassinated by the Southern district of NY without any wiretap or shred of evidence, and the University of Louisville."

In the interview, Pitino stated that he wants to coach again, whether that's at the college or pro level. 

The latter part of Pitino's tenure at Louisville was marred by scandal. In 2009, Pitino admitted to having consensual sex with a woman who then extorted him. Six years later, a woman detailed illegal activities that went on at parties thrown for Louisville recruits. Louisville imposed a self-imposed postseason ban for the 2016 season, and Pitino was later suspended for five games for failing to aptly monitor the program. 

Louisville was recently ordered to vacate all its wins from 2011-2015 in which ineligible players competed, including the 2013 national championship. 

Pitino has filed a lawsuit against Louisville for $36 million—the amount left on his contract—because he does not believe Louisville had "just cause" to fire him. A just cause firing releases Louisville from the financial commitments of the contract.