LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville players want assistant David Padgett to take on the interim head coach role after the removal of Rick Pitino following a corruption scandal.
A source close to the program said the team met Wednesday after a conditioning workout and agreed to back Padgett as a possible replacement for Pitino, whom interim president Greg Postel removed after Louisville was implicated in a corruption scandal that led to the arrests of 10 people, including assistant coaches at USC, Oklahoma State, Auburn and Arizona.
"The team wants Padgett," the source said. "They think it would be an easy transition. ... But they also know it's out of their control."
Postel, who said Wednesday that he intended to identify an interim coach within 48 hours, is expected to meet with the team's captains Friday "to talk about the coaching position," the source said.
Staffers at Louisville, Miami and Alabama also have been linked to the probe in the aftermath of the FBI's revelation of its investigation Tuesday.
On Thursday, ABC News confirmed that Pitino is the "Coach-2" mentioned in the FBI documents as the coach who brokered a deal with Adidas official Jim Gatto to pay the family of five-star prospect Brian Bowen $100,000. Bowen, per the report, committed to the team two days after Pitino had the last of three conversations with Gatto.
Louisville players were upbeat and positive this week, per the source, who said the veterans are relying on their experiences from two years ago when the program self-imposed a postseason ban following the Katina Powell sex-for-pay scandal.
"They've been through this before," the source said.
Padgett began his playing career at Kansas before transferring to Louisville after the 2003-04 season. He sat out Louisville's first Final Four run under Pitino in 2005 and its first appearance in the national semifinals since the 1986 national title run due to NCAA rules for transfers. He averaged 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game during his senior season in 2007-08.
After a brief stretch in the pros overseas and a stint as an assistant at IUPUI, he returned to Louisville in 2014 as the director of basketball operations.