Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
David Padgett: ‘Rick Pitino knows that I’m in charge’
By SEAN BOCK
Louisville interim head coach David Padgett appeared on CBS Sports’ “We Need to Talk” and discussed how the program has been adjusting without the services of longtime head coach Rick Pitino and all the question marks surrounding the team.
Pitino was “effectively fired” on Sept. 27, his attorney said, one day after news of the FBI investigation broke, linking Louisville to Adidas’ alleged payment of $100,000 to current freshman Brian Bowen.
“To be honest, the phrase [take it] day-by-day doesn’t really apply in this situation,” Padgett said on the show. “It’s more like hour-to-hour, or even minute-by-minute. We’ve been able to get back to basketball the last eight or nine days since the season officially began. So it’s been good to have practice. To have individual workouts. It’s a little bit of, not a distraction, but a relief for the players to get back to focusing on why they are here, you know – student-athletes. It’s good to get back in the gym and focus on our team. We look to move forward and get ready for our first game.”
Padgett also said Pitino has supported him throughout this whole process.
“But, if I need to turn to him for advice on any kind of thing,” Padgett added. “I feel like I can. We’ll always have a good relationship. But, he’s going to let me run the program the best way that I see fit. At the end of the day, he knows that I’m in charge from this point forward, and he just wants me to do what I think is best. And I know that I have his full support.”
Despite all the losses the team has suffered over the past couple of weeks, including two top-75 recruits, Padgett knows what’s most important is the season ahead as the Cardinals should have one of the best ball clubs in the ACC this season.
“Like I’ve been saying, my sole focus has been on the kids and this team,” Padgett said. “My first concern when all of this went down was them and their welfare. I’ve been in close contact with all of the players and their parents and I’m just trying to get these guys to focus on what is important right now. And that is this season.”
Photo: New York Daily News
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