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Report: Rick Pitino Fired

NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Michigan v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Less than 24 hours after the announcement of a federal investigation that led to the arrests of four assistant coaches at Arizona, USC, Auburn and Oklahoma State, Rick Pitino and Athletic Director Tom Jurich have been fired from their positions at Louisville.

Louisville’s men’s basketball program was linked to the federal probe:

Federal criminal complaints accuse at least one coach at U of L of taking part in a scheme this summer to funnel about $100,000 from the Adidas apparel company to an All-American high school player that Louisville was recruiting. The “bribe money” was meant to be concealed from the NCAA and university officials.

In another case, a U of L coach was caught on an undercover FBI video negotiating payments in a Las Vegas hotel room for a second recruit who is still in high school, prosecutors claim. The coach, who is not named, acknowledged that his school was on probation at the time and said, 'we gotta be very low key," according to court documents.

It’s unclear what the next steps for the Louisville basketball program will be, though it’s possible the NCAA will levy its vaunted ‘Death Penalty’ against it for repeated violations, these latest of which occurred while the school was already on NCAA probation.

The Death Penalty, via wikipedia, is the popular term for the NCAA’s power to ban a school from competing in a sport for at least one year. It is the harshest penalty that an NCAA member school can receive.

It has been implemented only five times:

The University of Kentucky basketball program for the 1952–53 season.

The basketball program at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) for the 1973–74 and 1974–75 seasons.

The Southern Methodist University football program for the 1987 season.

The Division II men's soccer program at Morehouse College for the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

The Division III men's tennis program at MacMurray College for the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.

In addition to schools that received the "death penalty" from the NCAA, some schools voluntarily dropped sports programs for extended periods of time due to high-profile scandals. Most notably, in the 1980s, two other Division I men's basketball programs, at the University of San Francisco (1982) and Tulane University (1985), self-imposed "death penalties" after revelations of major NCAA violations. These "death penalties" lasted three and four seasons, respectively. The next self-imposed "death penalty" by a Division I school took place in 2015, when Western Kentucky University (WKU) shut down its men's and women's swimming and diving teams after an investigation into alleged hazing.

For a good summary of what the hell is going on with the NCAA corruption investigation, check this out:

Everything you need to know about the FBI’s sweeping college basketball scandal.