Part of the issue for Louisville in their search for a replacement for Rick Pitino is that it’s still unclear who, precisely, was involved in the complaints that were unveiled by the FBI on Tuesday.
There are two unnamed members of the staff mentioned in the complaint. There were reports on Thursday morning that one of those unnamed coaches is Pitino himself.
Well, we don’t know. I can make an educated guess – I’m not going to here – but I don’t know for sure, and I don’t know that interim Louisville president Greg Postel does, either.
Which puts him in a tough spot.
Louisville had to clean house. They had to get rid of Pitino and they had to get rid of Tom Jurich if, for no other reason than the optics. The death penalty isn’t out of the question here. They need the NCAA believe that they’re trying to make changes, and given that at least one member of Pitino’s coaching staff is also implicated in this, can they really promote from within?
Because that’s what it seems like the players want.
According to reports from multiple members of the Louisville media corps, David Padgett, who is currently an assistant coach on the Louisville staff and is the guy who has a modest reputation as a recruiter, is the guy that the players on the team want to take over. In a situation like this, you want the guy the players want to play for. You want the guy that can keep a team that legitimately has ACC title and Final Four potential motivated, because a winning season is an easy way to put a bandaid on what has been a catastrophic two-year run for the Cardinals.
Whether that is what will actually happen is unclear.
We talked about the other candidates yesterday. Sources have told NBC Sports that Scott Davenport, a former Louisville assistant, is firmly in the mix, while other reports indicate that Tom Crean is not likely to take the job and that Padgett is the front-runner.
This is a complicated decision, one that is not going to be made by the person that is going to be the long-term boss of whoever ends up getting hired. Remember, there is an interim president and no AD at Louisville.
An interim coach may be the way to go.
And, assuming Padgett is clean, promoting from within would be the easy way to do so.