UofL athletic board member responds to firing Pitino

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) –  Rick Pitino's Hall of Fame career appears to be over at the University of Louisville.  Athletics Association Board Member Bill Stone was part of the unanimous vote to fire the two-time national champion coach.

"I personally like and admire a lot about Rick Pitino.  But, it was made in the best interest of the university," Stone explained to WHAS11.

Stone refused to talk about the discussions that were made inside executive session Monday, but praised the university's current leadership.  "The university is on a great trajectory. Greg Postel and David Grissom are providing great leadership and I think there are terrific days ahead," he said.

Rick Pitino began trending on social media after the announcement with some on Twitter saying, 'No huge surprises there.'  Others were calling for the death penalty for the basketball program with 'NO mercy for Rick Pitino's Reckless Actions.'

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College basketball broadcaster and longtime friend of Pitino, Dick Vitale, also took to social media to share his feelings about Pitino's firing.  Vitale says the university's decision was rushed.

"I think it's been a coulda, shoulda and a woulda kind of deal without anybody documenting and proving beyond a doubt awareness on his part that he knew," Dick Vitale said in a Twitter post.

Vitale believes the university's basketball recruiting will take a hit for the next five to six years if the program is placed on probation. 

While the future of the athletic program remains uncertain, Stone says the university is committed to remaining a strong academic school.  "It's still an institution of higher education and UofL has no black eye there," Stone said. 

MORE UofL NEWS:

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► UofL's Padgett appoints Trent Johnson to assistant coach role

► Trinity star de-commits from UofL during FBI investigation

► Vince Tyra named as UofL's acting AD

► ESPN Radio Host Bob Valvano chimes in on FBI Investigation

► UofL a part of FBI investigation; four college basketball assistants arrested across U.S.

► VIDEO: Terry Meiners talks about Rick Pitino

For more information on the UofL Investigation, go to whas11.com/uoflinvestigation