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An Open Letter to Rick Pitino: Please, please don’t leave


Dear Coach Pitino,

Hi. My name is Ryan.

You probably don’t remember this, but we met once, way back in the early 1990s, when you gave a speech at DeSales High School in Louisville. (Shout out to Nick Roush there — go Colts!)

Do you remember, Coach? I had that rockin’ sweater that Mom made me wear. Here — I’ll just include the pic:


Anyway, I thought you were an amazing speaker, and I loved you as a basketball coach. Afterward, I was lucky enough to get that picture taken with you.

Just like any UK fan, I thought you hung the moon. And I was so excited that I got to meet you. It was a blast.

Now, I’m older, and let’s be honest, I’ve replaced those old pictures of you with new ones — first of Tubby, now Cal.

After you left us, you went on to coach in the League. Then you flamed out, and you went on to coach at that other school, and I thought that was just a terrible idea. I didn’t like it at all. Now, as everyone prepares for you to leave at the end of this season, you’d think I’d be happy. But no — I’ve come to one conclusion.

I don’t want you to go.

Maybe it’s the 1-8 record against Cal and UK (yeah — that’s good enough). But maybe it’s the crazier and crazier things you say at press conferences. Or maybe it’s the fact that every four seasons or so you can count on a great sex scandal to rock your university — and you can bet the scandal will, in some way, involve you.

You are a great coach. This season, your team is much more competitive than I ever thought it could be.

But even so, you have brought more embarrassment to your university, that city, and this state, than you should have ever been allowed to. (In fact, I thought you should’ve been fired long ago).

So, for all of those reasons, I say: Stay. Please don’t leave.

I think there’s a very real possibility that if you go, the university may hire a coach who can beat Kentucky every now and then. (Chris Mack? Archie Miller? Anyone else?) Or at least a coach who won’t allow embarrassing things to happen to his school.

Come on, Coach. Stay a while longer.

I wonder: For UK fans, why would we want you to leave? While you brought a national championship to UofL, you did so at such a hefty price — Constant scorn and embarrassment, along with a self-imposed ban and NCAA violations down the road. And do we all really know for certain that championship banner will stay hanging in the Louisville rafters?

All UK fans should be begging you to stay. I am.

But I get the feeling you’ll make us mad again, and leave.

So I ask you, Coach: Please stay?


Remember: Some tattoos are permanent. Louisville first, Cards forever.


Best wishes,

Ryan Clark,

Article written by Ryan Clark

Ryan Clark has spent most of his life avoiding real work. He has walked the back nine with Tiger Woods, partied with Lebron James in New York and watched Kentucky basketball with Ashley Judd. He's hunted for ghosts in Civil War mansions, screened a movie with Cameron Crowe and interviewed Klan members while eating fried Twinkies at the Mississippi State Fair. He's made bets at the Kentucky Derby with Gilbert Gottfried, shared bootcamp quarters with our nation's finest National Guardsmen and women, and was even named an honorable mention Academic All-American while on academic probation at WKU. It makes sense then that he's now an editor and an instructor at Northern Kentucky University.

17 Comments for An Open Letter to Rick Pitino: Please, please don’t leave

  1. Go Deep
    5:21 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

    when the banner comes down the NCAA should also force him to get a big X tattooed across that ugly thing on his back

  2. ClutchCargo
    5:53 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

    I would only nitpick to say that Pitino is 1-8 vs. Cal. But yeah, I like those results over 9 games against our little brother.

    • WatchutalkinboutWillis
      5:57 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

      I signed on to point out the same thing.

    • UK Big Bored Butt Update
      8:18 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

      to be fair… they have had a much better season than us with much less talent. i can only wonder how many titles we would have if Pitino had the talent that Cal has had.

    • A_Blue_Wildcat
      8:35 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

      @UK Big Bored Butt Update, it would be less than the amount of sex scandals thats for sure

    • real True Blue Cat
      8:58 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

      If Pitino were able to recruit the same talent as Cal he wouldn’t come close to the record that Cal has. Pitino forces players to fit into his system and not capable of changing and adapting to the talent he has. He is nowhere near the end of close game coach that Cal is and his top players would still leave after a year or two but because of frustration and would get a lower spot in the draft.

    • real True Blue Cat
      9:02 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

      And Cal has beat him with worse talent as well as better talent. Beginning of the season or the end. UL fans are like Charlie Brown trying to kick a football. We keep hearing how they are better than us and gonna win and we beat them like always. It took Pitino’s best UL team to beat Cals worst by 2 points at the Chicken Bucket.

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:21 am March 4, 2016 Permalink

      Looks like I have an admirer!! LOL 😉

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:24 am March 4, 2016 Permalink

      I must have really gotten to the Tards on here. 😀

    • UK Big Board Update
      7:50 am March 4, 2016 Permalink

      If you think having a post season ban, impending violations due to hookers, losing your coach, getting beat by your hated Big Brother – again -, finishing 5th in your conference, and handing out championship rings when you never won anything, is considered a “better season”, than you are a true



  3. jonthes
    5:57 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

    I think we need a state startup fund to insure that Rick stays just as he tried to save Gillispie’s job. And for the same reason.

  4. kenny
    7:50 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

    If that banner doesn’t come down it will further prove how terrible the ncaa really is. It would be worse than spending millions of dollars to come with the name ” The College Football Playoff “. I’ll admit I’m biased, I hate UL, but let’s just look at how they have handled some other teams.
    Team A: has a great season, great run in the tourney. One player ruled ineligible, team forced to forfeit all wins and banner.
    Team B: has a great season, great tourney run. One player ruled ineligible, team forced to vacate all wins and banner.
    Team C: has a great season, great tourney run. Multiple players ruled ineligible, punishment forthcoming.
    (Michigan, Memphis, Louisville)

  5. jonthes
    8:02 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

    Do you think if we gave him a fake championship ring he’d stay?

  6. runningunnin.454
    8:58 pm March 3, 2016 Permalink

    You know I see the basest form of gutter-speak on this site. Crude comments and vulgarity to the nth degree. Yet,
    If you try to post a comment that contains no profanity or vulgarity, it awaits “moderation” until it’s buried if it expresses a dissenting opinion.
    Obviously, KSR doesn’t support the Bill of Rights, including the Freedom of Speech, which some of us waded into harm’s way to defend.

    • Saint Gabriel's Rims
      8:06 am March 4, 2016 Permalink

      If you’re so butt hurt over the “gutter-speak” on this site, DON’T VISIT THE SITE. I’m sure there’s a warm and fuzzy spot over at “the Chron” that will suit you much better. As for your nonsense about KSR not supporting the Bill of Rights: have you ever actually READ the Bill of Rights? I’m guessing not, cause if you had, you would know that the Freedom of Speech comes from the First Amendment, which reads: “CONGRESS shall make no LAW respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” Unless KSR = Congress, then your argument is pointless. And by the way, I read the Constitution before I signed up to defend it–it’s a good read, I recommend it.

    • runningunnin.454
      9:57 am March 4, 2016 Permalink

      Hmmm, no, my butt doesn’t hurt; and, I’m afraid I don’t know what “the Chron” is. Only chron I know was spelled Kron; Tommy Kron played for UK in ’65-’66. You know, Rupp’s Runts.
      Yep, have read the Constitution; matter of fact, took an OATH to defend it. I was not speaking literally, but rather of the concept of the Freedom of Speech which I would note was given the same weight as the Freedom of the Press. I’m sure Mr. Clark would support that concept.
      Another good read is the dictionary; look up compassion, restraint, and class. I responded to a classless article; but, you didn’t read my original comments because they’re still buried.
      So it doesn’t matter; since you’re so fond of the gutter….let you get back there.

  7. Saint Gabriel's Rims
    11:31 am March 5, 2016 Permalink

    It was obvious from your first post and your comment that “some of us waded into harm’s way” that you’ve served in the military. The fact that you used the word “us” suggests that you realize you’re not only one to have done such a thing. I, too, took the same oath, and have served in some of the nicest sandboxes this world has to offer. So have a lot of people–God bless us all. Just because you took an oath doesn’t mean you’ve read (let alone understood) the Constitution, and simply put, I doubt you have. It’s clear that what you’re really upset about is that your comments (brilliant and insightful as I’m sure they must have been) didn’t get posted and Mr. Clark got to have a whole article about his comments. This wasn’t “classless article,” it was a humorous piece about a classless man. Clearly you’re a Louisville fan, Pitino lover, and if you didn’t know that “the Chron” is a nick name of the Cardinal Chronicle website, now you do. Please google it and go find your new home.