Indictment: Rick Pitino knew about payment to recruit

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NBC Newly unsealed federal indictments from the investigation by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office show former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, had knowledge of and participated in directing payments to prospective players.

The indictments allege Pitino helped a sports agent secure money from an Adidas executive to give to the family of a University of Louisville basketball recruit, with the agreement the recruit would sign with Adidas and the agent when he made it to the NBA.

Court documents point to a specific meeting this past July where the agent, identified as Christian Dawkins, described Pitino agreeing to call Adidas executive James Gatto to ask for the money.

This suggests for the first time that the embattled coach had definitive knowledge of the alleged payment scheme from Adidas to college basketball players and participated in it.

Pitino and his lawyer have denied any wrongdoing on the part of the coach, but that was not enough to keep Louisville from moving to fire the Hall of Famer with cause. Pitino, who was placed on unpaid administrative leave when the allegations first came to light, was one of two important individuals within the Louisville athletic department to leave their positions with athletic director Tom Jurich being the other.

These new indictments come on the heels of a slew of arrests and charges made by the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office against NCAA corruption, first made public back in September 2017.