If there are any winners to come out of the college basketball scandal involving the payment of high-profile players across the country, Louisville coach David Padgett may be one of them.
Yahoo! Sports’ Pat Forde wrote Monday that Padgett’s chances to become the full-time coach of the Cardinals have increased because of the unknown links between coaches across the country and the scandal.
It was believed that Padgett, who was named the interim coach in September following a separate scandal that rocked Louisville and forced the departure of Rick Pitino, would not be a serious candidate for the job after this season. But coaches that were linked to Louisville, such as Xavier’s Chris Mack and Wichita State’s Greg Marshall are now connected to the recent scandal that was uncovered by an FBI probe.
Federal documents, released by Yahoo! Sports on Friday, indicate that former Xavier player Edmond Sumner and/or his father, Ernest, received thousands of dollars while he was in school. Former Wichita State player Fred VanVleet is also believed to have received at least $1,000.
Given the punishment Louisville was just levied for its own mistakes, it is reasonable to suggest that the university would avoid any coach with any sort of connection to the scandal.
Padgett has led the Cardinals to a 19-10 (9-7 ACC) record with two games left in the regular season. They currently sit in eighth place in the ACC and could find themselves in the NCAA tournament come Selection Sunday. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Louisville in his Last Four In, playing in the first round of the tournament against Texas, in his latest Bracketology update.
It is important to remember, however, that Padgett was an assistant under Pitino, tying him to the Louisville mess that led to all the program’s records from the 2011-12 to 2014-15 seasons — including the program’s 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four appearance — being vacated.
The university may be looking to severe all links to that period of the program, and if that is the case, Padgett will be out come the end of the season.
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