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#pounditSunday, August 14, 2022

Rick Pitino: Schools that violate NCAA rules should be fined, no postseason bans

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino believes that the NCAA needs to overhaul its system and shift the punishment for rules violations.

Louisville self-imposed a postseason ban for the 2015-16 season for rules violations stemming from the school’s escort scandal. Pitino thinks that’s unfair to the current crop of players and wants the NCAA to hit schools where it hurts the most: their pocketbooks.

“You should kill the university’s pocket book right away and take that money and put it in a scholarship for needy kids to go to college,” Pitino said, via Jeff Greer of the Louisville Courier-Journal. “This is wrong. It’s a bad system. That doesn’t mean we were not wrong in what we’ve done. With the limited knowledge of what I know, we were wrong. It should’ve never gone on. It turns my stomach.”

Pitino suggested a $10-$15 million fine levied against the school instead of a postseason ban, as well as docking the salaries of coaches implicated. He also threw his athletic director, Tom Jurich, under the bus for the penalties instituted.

“My faith is in Tom Jurich. He is a great AD,” Pitino said. “Did he hurt us? More than you could ever imagine. Are our fans suffering along with the players? More than you could ever imagine. But we have to trust our leader.

“As much as [university president] Dr. [James] Ramsey’s taking a lot of heat right now, please don’t give him the heat. He’s taken enough heat from enough places. He doesn’t need this heat because he’s done a lot of great things for this university, a lot of tremendous things for our university.”

Pitino may actually have a point about postseason bans, but his constant refusal to take even the slightest responsibility for what happened at Louisville is rather troubling. Your program messed up big time. Stop dithering around and own it. The buck stops with the head coach.

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