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Pitino calls the SEC a “second-rate” league


If you are one of the unfortunate souls who missed out on the Cardinal Caravan in Shelbyville last night, Rick Pitino fired a shot towards the SEC – and Calipari – when introducing his son Richard Pitino:

“He went away for a couple of years to learn how to do things in a second-rate league, then get back to the big time.”

Two things here:

First of all, shame on you for not being at the Cardinal Caravan in Shelbyville.

Second, Charles Barkley already summed up the Big East and it’s far from big time. Rick is riding UConn’s coattails here to try to insult Coach Cal and Kentucky. Remember, last week at the SEC meetings, Coach Cal said the Big East gets too many teams in the tournament and then underperforms. The “second-rate” comment at the Shelby County Fairgrounds is Rick’s way of trying to keep up in the war of words.

That’s a war you don’t want a part of, Rick.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

64 Comments for Pitino calls the SEC a “second-rate” league

  1. Karen S
    10:52 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I think they are going to kiss

  2. BTI sucks
    10:56 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Pull out Rick….just pull out, for once in your life!

  3. invisibleink
    10:57 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    notre dame WILL NOT LOSE … and i’m gonna go on record with you on that !

  4. Mt. Washington Mike
    10:58 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    One thing for sure is… Rick knows second rate…. a certified expert on the subject.

  5. BTI sucks
    10:58 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    By the way, your son is and always will be a crybaby. I remember him getting dominated in uk basketball camp when I used to go there and he would always cry when things didn’t go his way. Seriously, literally cry. What a baby! I know some KSR readers went to those camps he was at and can confirm what I am saying as well. I guess daddy has to stick up for baby since baby can’t do it on his own.

  6. IgotFiredfromCBS
    11:00 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Yes, the Big East is “turrabul” because we all know Charles Barkley is an expert on college basketball. He didn’t even know the players’ names of the teams he was talking about.

    Here’s the truth:
    Connecticut’s appearance in the NCAA Final 4 gave the Big East four Final 4 teams in the past three seasons.

    The Big East has placed four different schools in the Final 4 in the past five seasons. No other conference has had more than two schools reach the Final Four since 2007.

    The Big East is the only conference to have placed a team in each NCAA Elite 8 since 2002.

    Jay Bilas said it the best: The NCAA Tournament is about the performance of individual teams, not leagues. Each team has a different individual path to the Final 4.

    Otherwise, I guess the Horizon League was the second best conference last year.

  7. just wondering
    11:00 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I wonder what his other son,Billy Donovan,thinks about that comment?

  8. WildcatsDominate
    11:04 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Well when you make a league of 50 teams, your odds are stacked in your favor of getting one into the Elite Eight.

    It’s like saying the NCAA has put 65 teams in the past couple tournaments.

    I’m just saying, that’s all I’m saying.

  9. boomdaddy
    11:06 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’m sure, with the new top notch staff that Ricky has thrown together, he will soon be garnering the top recruiting classes in the nation! Wait a minute, didn’t Ricky’s ace recruiter leave and a bunch of his top recruits bail on UL? On second thought, he should be trumpeting the Big East, because those top recruits don’t seem to want to come to UL and play for Ricky anymore.

  10. KING REX #3
    11:08 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I love Chuck!!! Mug tell’s it how it is… it or not!!!

  11. Haggin Hall
    11:09 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    He been drinkin at Porcini’s again? Hasn’t he figured out that Cal thrives on this stuff? And, so true, the Cats did the heavy lifting for their conference this year. The Cards? Uh, not so much. I see you, Mr. Faried.

  12. Rockfield, KY
    11:09 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Five minutes around Richard Pitino and you’ll understand why Rick chooses to abort any other offspring of his.

  13. David
    11:10 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    When Louisville fans, coaches, radio personalities, etc. speak they always speak about the Big East conference. Why? Because Louisville is irrelevant today and has ONE Final Four in the last 25 seasons. This is why they latch on to accomplishments of teams in the Big East as if it’s their own-They don’t have any to speak of.

  14. BobS
    11:10 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I thought his son went away because his daddy double dribbled down his leg and embarrassed his family and university and not to evaluate the SEC. Maybe Rick is confused.

  15. UK2010
    11:10 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Final score of the Prediction by three stacks, 71-57 FSU!!

    Like mentioned before Jay Bilas has said it best. But lets take a spin on the fact that 4 teams have been in the final four the past three seasons from the big east and be a hater like many do with UK and Cal…. Would UCONN really count because doesn’t Calhoun have some pending allegations against his program and sanctions that will be handed down? So would those teams, including his team this year need to be “vacated”? I mean I am not on that band wagon but we all sure in the hell know that if it were UK that won it last year and we were in UCONN’s situation right now it would be a HUGE story line.

  16. Rick's Ego
    11:10 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I’m still bitter about getting beat in the first round by Morehead!

  17. Rockfield, KY
    11:12 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    6. if your team makes nearly 1/6 of the tournament field (11/68), there is a damn good chance that at least one of the teams will make the Elite Eight. Not that big of an accomplishment.

  18. UK2010
    11:13 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    And by the way they were 1 for 11 this year in getting teams to the final four how can you stand by that? They beat up on each other all year and the media always thought they were so good and kept them ranked. When they go and play outside of the conference in the NCAA look what happened.

  19. Kidnut
    11:13 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I can’t get mad at something Pitino says…his credibility has been shot for a while now and it’s kind of sad.

  20. Tony Vanetti's botched haircut
    11:14 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Hey, if you guys want to vote in the KSTV Casting Call for someone who has been kicked off the “Afternoon Underdog” show more than once for making fun of UofL, go here:

  21. JEREMY
    11:17 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    While i did hav a initial jealousy when pitino went to loserville, i never hated him or bad mouthed him for it.
    But why cant he have some respect for UK? I mean he did alot for us as a program but UK did alot for him as well. I just dont understand why he has to continue to bad mouth the program or say stuff he knows is going to piss Kentucky fans off! I mean if he left UL today, he would be bashed by louisville fans left and right and would see their true colors.
    I just think he could be a lil more considerate of UK and have some respect! Cause the more he says the less respect i have for him and i never thought i would say that!

  22. SexnNursinHomes
    11:17 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    6- I love how you make your numbers go back to 2007 to fit your argument. Classic Tardinal.

  23. The Vig
    11:18 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Let’s look at Pitino’s logic…

    He was more successful in the SEC (at Kentucky), winning more, getting deeper in NCAA tourney’s (including Final Fours) and actually winning National Championships.

    Therefore, it must be easier. 😉

    Sorry little brother, your coach just took a page out of “The Losers Handbook”.

  24. Guck Foodman
    11:20 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    “Notre Dame will not lose tonight.”

  25. Tom Handy
    11:23 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    “Itty Bitty East”……LOL

  26. Carolina Blue is past tense for CAROLINA BLOWS
    11:23 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    So let me get this right, if I drive a Mercedes I should trade it in for a Kia just to experience what it is like for two years? Poor excuse for an attempt to slam the SEC. Rick is slipping or sipping, not sure which one.

  27. Loyal_UK_Fan
    11:24 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    If the Big East is so great, then why do they have only 4 titles in the last 25 years? The SEC has 5. UL-0, UK-2. UCONN-3, UL-0. Syracuse-1, UL-0. UL is riding on the success of other teams without being able to claim anything except, “wait until next year” or “Can’t wait until 2023, we’ll be loaded”. They have been in 3 different conferences since they won their last title, when Reagan was President and the Mets won the World Series. 1986! That was 25 years ago! Half of ULs fan base wasn’t even alive yet or old enough to grow their line beards. Bunch of wannabes is what UL is. UL is not even relevant and hasn’t been since the 80s. 3 decades ago!

    Hey UL fans, this is UK basketball, B!TCHES

    The List

  28. Mt. Washington Mike
    11:24 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    It’s OK Ricky…. we might play in a second rate conference but we give you First Rate Ass kickings… oh anddddd when Charles Barkley looks like a genius talking with you then you really do have a problem.

  29. crazycatfan
    11:32 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    21) I agree. His lack of respect for Kentucky, turns into our lack of respect for him. It doesn’t make him look credible, just jealous.

  30. stevem
    11:32 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Fiftino continues his struggle to stay relevant.

  31. The Vig
    11:32 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    What difference does the conference mean when your coaching a second rate team?

  32. GeorgiaCat
    11:35 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Pitino is such a whiny B*tch

  33. TommyLasorda
    11:41 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    There will be a 30pt beatdown @Rupp this year when the Ricky P birds visit. I hope our guys play with a chip on their shoulder this year.

  34. KD
    11:46 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    About time Rick, last thing I do remeber is the Big East Champ head to head twice last year beating the best of the SEC oops back to back years W.VIR.

  35. UK_Football_Fan
    11:48 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Far be it for me to defend Pitino, but if people don’t recognize this as a tongue-in-cheek comment then we all need to get out more.

  36. The Vig
    11:49 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Sorry, what difference does the conference mean when your coaching a 4th rate team.

    Under Pitino in the last couple of years:

    0-2 vs Kentucky (under Calipari)
    lost to Western Kentucky by 14 (Nov 2008)
    lost to Morehead St. in 2010 NCAA First Round

    Your the coach of the 4th best team in the state talking about other conferences being second rate?

    Oh how far one can fall.

  37. kyfan210
    11:52 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    UK has had it season ended by big east schools 6 of the last 9 years.

  38. schwing
    11:53 am June 10, 2011 Permalink

    actually, he went away to avoid the embarrassment and tension during the sypher scandal.

  39. Well
    11:59 am June 10, 2011 Permalink


    Big 12- 12 teams
    SEC- 12 teams
    Big 10- 11 teams
    ACC- 12 teams
    Pac 10- 10 teams

    BIG EAST- 16 teams…

    This has alot to do why the conference has more success than other conferences… You have 4 more teams competing every year. Put all 16 teams in a hat and draw 4 out and it would more than likely be like any other conference maybe a tiny bit better and thats it.

  40. Big Blue Streeb
    12:00 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    I want to see another BTI post defending Rick Pitino and asking the Big Blue Nation to forgive him

  41. ShagOnSports
    12:01 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Who is Rick Pitino???

  42. Deez
    12:07 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    blah blah blah….

  43. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater
    12:08 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    6. The more teams you get in the higher your odds are of getting more teams farther. It doesn’t necessarily mean your league is better. It’s like a raffle. Buy more tickets and increase your chances of winning. However, if the Big LEast was so great then they should get more teams to go farther in the tournament. But how fitting that the national champion from the Big East is a cheater.

    At least SEC fans realize where the league is at this point. The SEC used to be a very strong basketball conference especially in the 90s. The past decade it’s been down but still managed to win 2 national titles and have a few teams make the final four. With the good young coaches that are in the league now and recruiting going well the league will only get better.

  44. The Vig
    12:19 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    #36 – UK_Football_Fan – Sorry but you can’t defend Pitino with that excuse.

    He’s openly stated (not tongue in cheek) that (1) the Big East is a better conference, (2) that the SEC is a weaker conference. he’s made direct comparisons in Q&A sessions with reports as well as individual assessments.

    That prevent’s him from being able to later play this card.

    Now, go get out more.

  45. peoplewhowork
    12:21 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    They should hire Shaq and Barkley to do basketball commentary next year.

    Other than that, there is no point in argueing againt Pitino here, he is as biased to the big easy as I am to the SEC. No dillusions though the SEC has been down in basketball for a while but, things are looking up for some of the other teams. Arkansas and Alabama in particular.

  46. billybball
    12:26 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    #6 Past twenty years big east 4 championships.
    .sec 5…3 of years came from the same school…uconn is ur only elite team

  47. bluesince66
    12:38 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Arguement sounds familiar. The only difference is we admit our football team is average at best while playing in the SEC. While UL’s coach and fans seem to think UL is a top shelf program and relying on the big east to prove it.

  48. RLG
    12:48 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    its funny how Cal can take a shot at a conference, but no other coach can. its just to funny and rediculous

  49. BTI sucks
    1:03 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    #49…It’s too, not to and ridiculous, not rediculous. Now back to that chicken bucket arena with your poor grammar and spelling! Me=winning…you=anything but me!

  50. Winston Bennett !V
    1:07 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    The only reason Rick got little Dick out of town for two years was to keep him from the fallout of the Karen Sypher issue. He should learn that if you cannot beat them better join them, a first class prick is rick………..

  51. Kyle Mann
    1:26 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Are we sure this isn’t just some friendly ribbing towards Richard? I honestly don’t care.

  52. Brand X
    1:31 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    The other night Lachlin Mclean played part of Ricks’ press conference where he said that he never ” put his clothes in other peoples laundry baskets”
    Meaning that he never offers any opinion on other schools or conferences. His lack of any integrity starting with all the Sypher stuff, conflicting statements on how his teams will play from year to year, not having any of his marquee recruits improve under his coaching, Sosa, Jennings, Samuels, E clark, J smith, T will, a couple of NITs, first round exits in the NCAA and having to constantly brag about the big east to steal some positive attention.These are the traits of second rate performers trying to hang on to anything other than their own deeds. U of L , your money spent on this guy and he is THE FACE of U of L is a bad hedge fund that no one is buying. Sorry for your students and supporters.

  53. Buckets
    1:34 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Quick Rick has a second-rate, at best, sex drive. He is the 15-second man.

  54. Claud Bawls
    2:19 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Why are they looking at each other like that? Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

  55. playersfan
    2:49 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Big East is so great, Calhoun says it will not be around in another 5 years. Its going to get busted up.
    Of course everything in NY is better and bigger, if you don’t believe it just ask Pitino or someone from NY. Why don’t we hear any talk about Pitino to the Knicks?

  56. KD
    3:19 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Why have a site if you block out truths all I said was the big east best team beat/ the sec best team two years in a row

  57. blw
    5:16 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink


    UK finished with a top 10 SOS

    UL did not

    just saying

  58. blw
    5:18 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    OH AND….it’s also funny why lil dick went to that “second-rate” league.

    it’s because dick went with a “second-rate” ho

  59. pizzinmneoff
    5:44 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Rick is turrible , Barkley is the man

  60. Eggs Wilhoite
    10:22 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    That video never gets old…

  61. Mt. Washington Mike
    11:04 pm June 10, 2011 Permalink

    Ricky just had to say something to make the news

  62. littlefeller
    4:28 am June 11, 2011 Permalink

    The “laundry in other people’s baskets” statment is just like Slick Rick. He tried to tell UK who to hire(like he did with OTS and we all know where that got us) when BCG left(he wanted UK to look at Travis and Pel) and instead should have been addressing Mich St who promptly beat his 15 second performance in the elite eight. lol

  63. Allen Iverson
    10:26 am June 13, 2011 Permalink