Could This New Scandal Involving a Federal Investigation Finally Sink Rick Pitino?
While the NCAA may toy with power programs regarding huge investigations of into huge violations like prostitution scandals or academic malfeasance, the FBI has no such qualms about diving right in.
And that's exactly what the Bureau did.
Tuesday morning it was revealed that federal corruption charges have been brought against assistant basketball coaches at the University of Arizona, the University of Southern California, Auburn University, and Oklahoma State University.
ESPN reveals that these charges follow a three-year probe that revealed that coaches have been steering NBA-level high school talent toward apparel manufacturers, agents, and financial advisers in exchange for large sums of money.
Among the many charges in this voluminous indictment was the mention of a "public research university in Kentucky."
Not much guesswork was needed as it was soon revealed by the University of Louisville's interim president that U of L was, indeed, the that public research university.
And here's where it gets ugly.
It seems the feds flipped some sports financial planner involved in a securities fraud case and this individual then agreed to participate in a sting operation that involved wire taps, video, written communications, video, and recorded conversations.
Louisville was called "University 6" in the indictment and this University 6 was linked to payouts of $100,000 and $150,000 for two separate recruits.
With all the heat from the Katina Powell escort scandal and now an explosive federal investigation that could seriously alter the way college basketball itself operates going forward, you have to wonder if head coach Rick Pitino will survive. Either he's telling the truth and is shocked at learning this information or he's lying and is complicit. If the latter is true, he has to go. If the former is true, it will be the second time in as many years he has claimed to know nothing of a scandal of historic proportions happening right under his nose.
I can't think of a more earth-shattering week in the history of college hoops. There are so many schools whose names we already know involved in this mess and the FBI has as much as said they've only just begun. How many more are involved?
The repercussions figure to be devastating.