Louisville’s interim president receives authorization to fire Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville’s interim president was authorized Monday to fire Rick Pitino because of a federal bribery investigation, a scandal that has shaken the university and brought down one of the most prominent coaches in college basketball.

The school’s Athletics Association, a separate body of officials that oversees Louisville’s sports programs, unanimously approved a resolution to fire Pitino after meeting for more than two hours Monday.

Pitino was put on unpaid administrative leave last week after law enforcement officials announced the probe and the school acknowledged its inclusion in the investigation. Though Pitino is not named in court complaints, interim president Greg Postel has said the allegations violated the Hall of Fame coach’s contract and provided just cause to be placed on unpaid leave.

Postel’s next move is notifying Pitino of Louisville’s plan to fire him after 16 seasons.

“The letter that the board has asked me to write will go through in detail and explain the logic,” Postel said, “and that letter will be crafted as soon as possible.”

Pitino’s attorney, Steve Pence, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Athletic director Tom Jurich was placed on paid administrative leave and Postel said he plans to announce an interim replacement today.

Monday’s vote came exactly two years after the revelation of a sex scandal that led to NCAA penalties for Pitino and Louisville this summer. Pitino and the university are appealing those sanctions, which could end with the vacating of the school’s 2013 national championship.

During a trustee board meeting, Postel released Sept. 27 disciplinary letters to Pitino and Jurich in which he called the allegations “disturbing and unprecedented.”

David Padgett was named as Pitino’s interim replacement Friday.