The Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball program was absolutely rocked this summer by an FBI investigation into corruption in college hoops but an explosive report on Wednesday morning casts doubt on the overall integrity of the investigation as a whole.
A Wall Street Journal report from Rebecca Davis O’Brien claims that one FBI agent working the probe stands accused of misconduct for misappropriating government funds for gambling, food and beverages. The justice department is now investigating and if he is found guilty he wouldn’t be able to participate in any potential trials in any capacity.
Louisville coach Rick Pitino was fired for his alleged involvement in a massive pay for play scam between shoe companies and schools sponsored by those shoe companies. Essentially, the FBI claims that shoe companies sponsoring certain AAU teams and colleges would funnel talent from sponsored program to sponsored program and that the college coaching staffs were aware of what was going on.
Pitino has vehemently trumpeted his innocence and has not been charged with a crime of any sort. Adidas is at the center of the lawsuit and Louisville is an Adidas school.
USC, Arizona, Miami, Oklahoma State, South Carolina and Auburn are also implicated in the FBI investigation. Thus far, 8 indictments have been handed down in the case.
And, while this certainly isn’t the smoking gun that absolves Pitino, Louisville or anyone else from any involvement in any alleged wrongdoing, it’s certainly a troubling look for the FBI at a difficult time.