LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) – The interim president of the University of Louisville announced on Friday, Sept. 29, that acting head coach of the men’s basketball team is David Padgett.
"It's crucial we produce stability," UofL's Interim President Greg Postel said, as he announced Padgett would be acting head coach.
"The city will absolutely rally around these kids. This is what they need," Padgett said.
He said he doesn't get the sense that any of the current players will leave the team.
Padgett does have experience with the team as he's served as an assistant coach under Rick Pitino. He was also the former directors of basketball operations and played for the Cards from 2005 to 2008.
Padgett said this week was a dark one for UofL but went on to say he's taking the job for the players.
Padgett said he couldn't deny my relationship with Pitino and he wouldn't be standing where he is today if it wasn't for Pitino.
When Padgett was asked at the news conference if he was disappointed in Pitino, Padgett said he's disappointed the university is struggling at this time.
The need to find an interim coach was brought on by Louisville being named in a federal investigation alleging a pay-to-play scheme involving a top recruit to UofL, as well as two coaches. One of those coaches being identified to ABC news by sources as Pitino.
The university announced Coach Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich were on administrative leave on Wednesday after the FBI announced the details of their investigation on Tuesday.
Greg Postel, the interim president of UofL, said the announcement for the interim athletic director will be “Monday or Tuesday.”
When asked specifically about that possibility, Doctor Postel said the school is doing its due diligence.
Pitino issued the following statement after Postel's announcement on Friday:
"There's been a lot of turmoil the last few days and I've intentionally avoided making any public statements--primarily because so few facts are known. But I wish to make a few now.
First, I want to thank all my players from Providence, UK and Louisville. Your support means more to me than I can possibly express.
Second, to the many friends and fans who reached out to me in the last few days: I owe a thousand thanks and an apology for the disappointment you must have.
Third, as I've previously stated, I had no knowledge of any payments to any recruit or their family. But I was the head coach and I will take ownership of my decisions. The University took the action they thought was necessary and I will do the same.
Finally, Tom Jurich is the best athletic director in the country, and thanks to him I coached Louisville basketball for over sixteen years where we witnessed many great things. From conference US, AAC, Big East and now the ACC. I am proud of our many accomplishments and appreciate the continued support of the Louisville community. Again, a thousand thanks."
Earlier on Friday WHAS11's Terry Meiners exchanged texts with Pitino. Meiners tweeted the following on Friday with Pitino's permission:
NEW: Rick Pitino allowed me to share this text. pic.twitter.com/Eubgy2oyXR— Terry Meiners (@terrymeiners) September 29, 2017
In the tweet, Pitino said this weekend will be sad because the basketball team was set to start practicing. He also said he misses his players.
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