Pitino lawyer: Allegations in indictment ‘false, misleading’
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Rick Pitino’s lawyer says allegations in an indictment that implies former Louisville men’s basketball coach was involved and aware of money payments to recruits are “false, misleading and defamatory.”
Steve B. Pence reiterated that Pitino had no knowledge of any payments to players. Christian Dawkins, who was indicted on Tuesday, says during a recorded conversation a coach agreed to call an Adidas executive for money to send the family of a recruit. Pitino is not named in the indictment.
Pitino was fired Oct. 16 by Louisville’s Athletic Association after the school acknowledged that it was being investigated in a national federal corruption probe of college basketball . He is not named in the complaint or the indictment unsealed this week.
Pence in a release Thursday called Dawkins’ allegation “wholly uncorroborated, inconsistent with other proof and, more importantly, false.” Pence suggested that Dawkins dropped the coach’s name “to enhance his stature with co-conspirators.”
Pence’s statement added, “Had Dawkins communicated with Coach Pitino, the FBI wiretap and phone records would have captured the conversation. They didn’t.”
The recruit’s name is not mentioned in federal documents, but details in the complaint make clear investigators were referring to Brian Bowen. The 6-foot-7 forward remains enrolled at Louisville but is being held out of practice and games until the allegations are resolved.
Pitino also stands by his previous statement that he has never allowed or known of payments to recruits or their families during his entire college career, the release said.
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