As a result of an FBI investigation that uncovered a pay for play scandal, the Louisville basketball program lost Hall of Fame head coach Rick Pitino less than a week before practices for the 2-17-2018 season began.
Tenured athletics director Tom Jurich is on administrative leave and might be fired.
To top it off, the program had already received sanctions for a different scandal about four months earlier, and some analysts have called for Louisville basketball to receive the death penalty.
Thirty-two-year-old David Padgett has been charged with leading the Cardinals on the court this season, despite all the distractions. In an interview with CBS Sports Network’s Andrea Wolfson and Allie LaForce, Padgett said the one thing people seem to be overlooking is that Louisville will put a talented team on the court this season.
“We have a pretty good team,” Padgett said. “We obviously lost Donovan Mitchell last year, which was a big blow, but we have basically every other player back.”
One of the many unknowns surrounding Louisville entering this season is whether Padgett is ready to be a head coach. Padgett played for Louisville from 2006-2008 and has served as an assistant coach for seven seasons, four of which were at Louisville. Padgett told Wolfson and LaForce that he was honest with his team about his lack of experience.
“I said, ‘look, I’ve never been a head coach before. You guys know that. They rest of the world knows that. I’m gonna make some mistakes. but we’re gonna be in this together and I just want you guys to know that at the end of the day I’m gonna have your best interests at heart.'”
When asked what kind of a coach he sees himself being, Padgett said he’ll likely be more of a “players’ coach,” simply because it has only been nine years since be played for the school. However, he said he knows part of being a head coach is sometimes being “the bad guy.”
“I can probably relate to them just having been in their shoes before,” Padgett said. “But at the same time they need to understand that if I don’t think they’re giving me maximum effort, or if they’re not doing what I ask of them, I’m gonna let them know about it.
“That’s the biggest adjustment that I’ll have to make from being an assistant to a head coach is at the end of the day I’m gonna have to be the bad guy sometimes.”
A portion of the interview can be seen below.
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) October 11, 2017
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