Louisville places assistants Fair, Johnson on paid leave
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed associate basketball coach Kenny Johnson and assistant Jordan Fair on paid administrative leave while the school handles its involvement in a national federal investigation of the sport.
Fair and Johnson didn’t participate in practices conducted this week by interim coach David Padgett, who was named Sept. 29 as Rick Pitino’s replacement. Pitino is on unpaid administrative leave and facing dismissal after 16 seasons.
Vince Tyra was named acting athletic director on Tuesday in place of Tom Jurich, who’s on paid leave pending an Oct. 18 review by trustees. Tyra said in a release Friday that the school is doing due diligence while cooperating with federal authorities and called the decisions regarding Fair and Johnson “an appropriate step at this time.”
Johnson is in his fourth season with Louisville; it’s Fair’s second season on the staff.
Basketball spokesman Kenny Klein said that staffers Michael Bowden, Logan Baumann and R.J. Evans have been placed in temporary coaching roles.
Ten people have been arrested in the federal probe of the sport, including four college assistant coaches at different schools and an Adidas executive.
Pitino is not named in the federal documents and has maintained that he did nothing wrong. His attorney, Steve Pence, has said Louisville “effectively fired” Pitino when they placed him on administrative leave on Sept. 27. The school’s Athletic Association on Monday authorized interim university President Greg Postel to begin the process of firing Pitino for cause.
Postel’s letter to the Hall of Fame coach Tuesday said the action arises out of his conduct over a period of years and noted his involvement in two recent scandals involving the program — including the current federal investigation.
The letter also states that Pitino failed to notify compliance staff of a May campus visit by agent Christian Dawkins, who was arrested in the probe.
Pence said the allegations are “not true” in a phone call Friday with The Associated Press. Pitino will meet Oct. 16 with the athletics board.
The NCAA in June placed Louisville on four years’ probation and has ordered the vacation of up to 123 victories — including its 2013 national championship — as a result of a sex scandal . The school and Pitino, who was suspended for five games, are appealing those sanctions.