Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings to Louisville fan: At least we don't pay our players $100K

Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings sends a play in to his team during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. Louisville won 77-51.

Timothy D. Easley / AP

Louisville easily beat Pittsburgh 77-51 Tuesday night in the Cardinals' Atlantic Coast Conference opener – but it was a comment by Pittsburgh coach Kevin Stallings that got everyone's attention.

Late in the game, Stallings got into an altercation with a fan near the Panthers' bench. Stallings could be heard telling a fan that at least his team did not pay players $100,000, referencing a claim in an ongoing FBI investigation that Louisville orchestrated such a payment to five-star recruit Brian Bowen.

The incident led to the dismissal of coach Rick Pitino and prompted the school to make Bowen ineligible.

In the post-game press conference, Stallings admitted to the confrontation with the fan, but he did not reveal what he said.

"Somebody said something bad about my players," Stallings said. "So, I'm just going to stick up for my players. Probably said the wrong thing, but I'm not going to let people talk crap about my players."

Padgett said he wasn't aware about the incident until a question was asked in his press conference, and he knows the team has been - and most likely will be throughout the season - heckled on the road. At Purdue, Boilermakers fan came to the game wearing FBI shirts.

"We've just got to ignore that," he said. "Our players at Purdue, they didn't let it bother them, so it's not anything we're going to talk about or pay attention to."