Multiple news outlets, including CBS, the Wall Street Journal and ABC, are citing unnamed sources to report that Rick Pitino is the man referred to as “Coach 2” in the FBI indictment released Tuesday morning.
In the document, Brad Augustine — a program director of an Adidas-sponsored AAU team — is quoted during a taped conversation saying that he expects Adidas "to fund at least a portion of future payments ... because 'no one swings a bigger dick than [Coach 2]' at Adidas." Augustine also said that "all [Coach 2] has to do is pick up the phone and call somebody [and say], 'These are my guys, they're taking care of us.'"
If this is in fact Pitino, then it’s difficult to understand why his attorney, Steve Pence, would have released such a strongly worded statement on Wednesday. In that statement, Pence says that “Coach Pitino has done nothing wrong and there is no evidence to suggest otherwise.” He goes on to say that once all the facts are discovered, they will “inevitably exonerate him.”
Seeing as how we’re dealing with the FBI, a body that has already made it known that it has taped recordings and statements of record, it seems odd to make such a bold proclamation for a client who would — if he is Coach 2 — be fully aware that he was involved in some capacity.
The only explanation is that Pitino either isn’t Coach 2, or that the claim from his attorney will be that Augustine was simply making things up to try and sound convincing in front of a parent.
Who knows what we’re going to find out next.
Add the C-J to the list of outlets that has confirmed Rick Pitino’s identity as “Coach 2.”
Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino is "Coach 2" described in the FBI's pay for play investigation into college basketball, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the matter who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly.
Coach 2 is a major figure described in the recruitment sting operation, which has rocked the University of Louisville men's basketball program and resulted in Pitino's suspension as head coach.
The revelation is significant because it reinforces the University of Louisville athletic department's deep ties to Adidas, likely allows the university to fire Pitino without paying out the $46 million remaining on his contract and exposes him to criminal prosecution.
Pitino's attorney, Steve Pence, declined to comment when the Courier-Journal asked Thursday if Pitino is Coach 2.
"(The criminal complaint is) a document drafted by the U.S. Attorney's Office," Pence said. "We anticipate cooperating with them — they can release the identities as they see fit."