We’ve heard a bit from former Louisville coach Rick Pitino since he was terminated by the Cardinals, but now his son Richard is speaking out about his past and future.
Richard Pitino, the head coach at Minnesota, defended his father, saying all wrongdoing at Louisville would have occurred without Rick Pitino’s knowledge and emphasizing that he’d like to coach again.
“I haven’t spoken much about it because we were still in our season, but I worked for my dad for three years. I know the expectations when you work for him,” Richard Pitino told Marcus Fuller of the Star Tribune. “Unfortunately, he had some people that let him down. The tough part of this recent thing is nobody knows how long this FBI stuff is going to take. You see these other universities and schools taking a wait and see approach with those implicated in it. So it’s hard for my dad’s situation because I don’t think anybody knows what the truth is. They would obviously have to believe him. I know 100 percent he had zero to do with any of that stuff. I know 100 percent he wouldn’t in a million years tell anyone to be involved in that stuff. If anyone was ever involved in a NCAA violation of some sort they were doing it without him knowing.
“So I don’t know if he’ll coach next season. It’s going to have to be somebody who believes in him. He’s one of the best coaches to ever coach the game. He wants to still coach. If I’m an AD that has an opening, I think I would be crazy not to consider him.”
Rick Pitino’s coaching career in the United States appears pretty shot, so he may have to look overseas.
If he wants to, though, he’ll reportedly have the opportunity. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the NBL’s New Zealand Breakers have reached out to Pitino’s representatives to try to sell him on coaching there.
The New Zealand Breakers, I’m told, have offered their vacant head coaching position to former Louisville coach Rick Pitino. The @NZBreakers play in Australia’s @NBL and their new American ownership has been pitching Pitino’s representative on the post this week.
Pitino may have some major skeletons in his closet stateside. That will be less of an issue on the other side of the world, where a team like this will be looking for publicity and a high-profile track record of success. That said, it may be a longshot convincing him to take up the role.
Pitino, 65, had coached Louisville since 2001, but his success at the school was dampened by a number of high-profile scandals over the years. He was ultimately fired in October after being implicated in an alleged “pay for play” scheme involving a relationship with Adidas wherein he supposedly directed payments to top recruits. Pitino continues to deny any wrongdoing though.
As for Georgia, they just fired head coach Mark Fox after nine years in charge. Hiring Pitino (along with all of the good and bad that comes with him) would certainly make waves, but they should have some slightly safer options as well.
The NCAA announced on Tuesday that the Louisville men’s basketball will be forced to vacate 123 victories from 2012-2015, including its 2013 national championship.
The sanctions stem from an investigation into a sex scandal that took place at the university in which strippers were hired to dance and perform sex acts for recruits. The NCAA ruled that the violations resulted in players participating in games while ineligible, and Louisville’s appeal was denied.
With the ruling, Louisville has become the first Division I college basketball team to vacate a national title. As you might expect, Twitter had some enthusiastic reactions to the news, most notably from people who mocked the infamous national championship tattoo that Pitino got in 2013.
So if the Louisville MBB team has to give up its 2013 National Championship, then who becomes National Champion. Nobody? I've always thought vacating wins-titles was pretty stupid, and this is from a man in favor of harsh punishments for cheating.
Not a huge fan of Ncaa making Louisville “vacate” their 2013 title. Like what even is that punishment, so Michigan won now or something even though they didn’t? Haha. Just think I need to see a punishment more creative than “you didn’t win the title anymore even tho you did”.
“He’s a great friend of mine, and I feel bad about the whole situation, but it’s what happened,” Boeheim said. “Interesting the other three coaches are still coaching. I don’t know if that means anything or not.”
Not many are questioning Pitino’s accomplishments as a head coach, but there’s a lot more that goes into his firing. Let’s not also forget that he was already in trouble for the sex scandal at the school too. Between his involvement in both scandals, that was enough for Louisville to decide it was time to move on.
The former Louisville coach has sued the university for $38 million, according to a report. TMZ Sports says Pitino filed his suit in U.S. District Court. They say the $38 million figure comes from the salary Pitino was set to earn through 2026, which is when his contract ran with Louisville.
The suit also mentions that Pitino was not given 10 days of notice prior to his firing, which is called for by his contract.
Pitino, 65, was the coach at Louisville since 2001 and had taken the team to three Final Fours, including a national championship won in 2013. During his time at Louisville, he was involved in an extortion attempt that led to a disclosure of an extramarital affair, and his staff was accused of throwing sex parties for recruits. The latest allegations which led to his ousting including a relationship with Adidas where recruits were paid to come to the school. Pitino denied having any knowledge or involvement in the most recent scandals. An unsealed indictment says Pitino was complicit in the illegal involvement with Adidas.
Federal investigators are not buying Rick Pitino’s claims of innocence relating to the Adidas recruiting scandal.
Newly unsealed federal indictments indicate that Pitino — not named, but identified as Coach-2 in documents — both knew of and explicitly directed payments from Adidas executive Jim Gatto to potential recruits.
While this information could have been suspected from previous documents, it is the first direct evidence of Pitino’s explicit involvement in the scandal.
NBC NEWS: Indictments unsealed in NCAA fraud and bribery case allege that Rick Pitino ("coach-2") had knowledge of and directed payments to players. pic.twitter.com/npMZtRpRyH
If accurate, this runs completely counter to Pitino’s public denials of knowledge or wrongdoing. It also means that the former Louisville coach could, in theory, end up becoming a target of the investigation.