Former Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson no longer on La Salle coaching staff after NCAA allegations

Former Louisville assistant Kenny Johnson, a key figure in the NCAA’s infractions case against the Cardinals, is no longer on the La Salle coaching staff, the program confirmed Monday. Johnson joined the La Salle staff in 2018 after being fired from Louisville in 2017 and was an assistant coach for the Explorers through the 2019-20 season. His hiring at La Salle came on the heels of the federal investigation into corruption and bribery in college hoops that ensnared the Cardinals program and then-coach Rick Pitino.

Johnson’s alleged involvement in the case came to light last week when Louisville received its notice of allegations related to the scandal. In it, Johnson is accused of provided impermissible benefits that violated NCAA ethical conduct principles and also of conducting impermissible recruiting activities. The NOA last week sent to Louisville by the NCAA detailed one Level I violation and three Level II violations.

Johnson was fired from Louisville in November 2017 on the heels of the federal case being exposed. He resurfaced at La Salle in May the following year, making him the first assistant who was terminated because of the scandal to land a new job at a Division I institution. All the while, Johnson’s involvement in the Louisville scandal raised credible questions about his viability as a candidate. As Gary Parrish reported in 2018, other institutions were interested in hiring him before administrators ultimately intervened to nix deals with him.

If not for his ties to the Louisville scandal, Johnson indeed would have been a hot coaching commodity both then and now. Prior to his Louisville tenure he coached as an assistant at Towson and then as an assistant under Tom Crean at Indiana. Pitino hired him away from IU in the spring of 2014 to give him a valuable recruiting presence, particularly on the East coast and in the D.C. area. Johnson, who is from Maryland, attended the University of Maryland and earned his degree in 1999.

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