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Pitino, ex-teammate sought mercy for Farmer

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino asked a federal judge to show mercy when sentencing ex-Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer and allow him to "become a productive citizen again" after the basketball star's fall from grace.

Pitino's letter is among 29 dispatches sent to U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove before Farmer's sentencing in January for abusing public office. Farmer is serving a 27 month sentence.

Van Tatenhove unsealed the letters Thursday evening.

Among the family and friends writing letters was former Kentucky basketball star and current University of Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey. Pitino coached both men at Kentucky from 1989 through 1992.

Farmer and Pelphrey were part of a Wildcats team that earned the school its first postseason trip after a two-year ban for NCAA infractions.

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