Rick Pitino released a statement on Friday afternoon, minutes before David Padgett was introduced as the interim head coach in his absence, accepting blame for what happened in his program on his watch without admitting that he knew what was going on.
“There’s been a lot of turmoil the last few days and I’ve intentionally avoided making any public statements – primarily because so few facts are known,” Pitino the statement read. “But I wish to make a few now. First, I want to thank all my players from Providence, UK and Louisville. Your support means more to me than I can possibly express.
“Second, to the many friends and fans who reached out to me in the last few days: I owe a thousand thanks and an apology for the disappointment you must have.
“Third, as I’ve previously stated, I had no knowledge of any payments to any recruit or their family. But I was the head coach and I will take ownership of my decisions. The University took the action they thought was necessary and I will do the same.
“Finally, Tom Jurich is the best athletic director in the country, and thanks to him I coached Louisville basketball for over sixteen years where we witnessed many great things. From conference USA, AAC, Big East and now the ACC. I am proud of our many accomplishments and appreciate the continued support of the Louisville community. Again, a thousand thanks.”