Want a fun afternoon read? Our friends at Deadspin and The Ringer are going all in on Rick Pitino today. In an article entitled, “Rick Pitino’s Campaign Against NCAA Sanctions Is A Shameless, Repetitive Mess,” Nick Martin takes Pitino to task for his bizarre, holier-than-thou defense against the NCAA’s failure to monitor charges, pointing out that were Pitino as ignorant of the situation as he claims, the charges ended up being way lighter than they should have been:
Over a four-year period, high-school recruits, some as young as 16, were offered and received sexual favors–stripteases, blowjobs, intercourse–on Louisville’s campus, and it was all facilitated by a member of Pitino’s staff. Nothing–not claims of ignorance, finger-pointing at the NCAA for being a bully, 9/11, or Pitino’s faith–will erase this from the record, nor can anything excuse the fact that Pitino claims to have learned about this essentially at the same time as everyone else (“I was coaching the Puerto Rican National team in Mexico when reports of the book first broke.”) Despite what Pitino believes, he’s far closer to a show-cause penalty than he is impunity.
Nobody else in college basketballâ€Š–â€Šand honestly, maybe all of sportsâ€Š–â€Šhas figured out how to keep the media in the palm of his hand quite like Calipari has, and at this point I have no choice but to tip my hat and respect the hustle. It is truly remarkable how he continues to be the ONLY coach who finds his way to a microphone time and again, which happens because he’s playing a completely different game than every other college basketball coach. Coach K’s goal is to get his players to win at the game of life. Roy Williams’s goal is to, um, graduate players. Tom Izzo’s goal is to establish a strong enough relationship with his star player that they put their arms around one another during a dead ball. Rick Pitino’s goal is to see how many sex scandals he can attach his name to before losing his job. Calipari’s goal is to bring five-star recruits to Kentucky, give them access to the UK practice gym for nine months, and then sit at their table on draft night before he goes on national TV to talk about how rewarding it is to help MY GUYS achieve their NBA dreams.
I like that so much I’m just going to ignore the little Kevin Ollie line Titus throws in a paragraph later. Read the rest for yourself over at The Ringer.