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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Rick Pitino lawyer: Verdict shows client didn’t know of payments

In this Feb. 21, 2018 file photo, former Louisville basketball Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino talks to reporters during a news conference in New York. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)
In this Feb. 21, 2018 file photo, former Louisville basketball Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino talks to reporters during a news conference in New York. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)
Associated Press

NEW YORK – The lawyer for former Louisville coach Rick Pitino says the convictions in a federal trial alleging corruption in college basketball supports his client’s assertion he was unaware of a scheme to bribe the family of a Cardinals recruit.

Attorney Marc Mukasey said in a statement Thursday that the government argued that former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christian Dawkins and amateur league director Merl Code “needed to conceal” the scheme from schools and “no one with any degree of credibility implicated Pitino.”

A federal jury on Wednesday found the three men guilty of fraud in the case. Louisville fired Pitino last October soon after the investigation was announced, but the coach was not mentioned in the federal complaint. Pitino has maintained he was not involved in or aware of a scheme to pay the family of former Cardinal player Brian Bowen Jr.

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