Earlier today, Pat Forde underlined the severity of the allegations facing Louisville in the FBI’s bribery probe by calling for Rick Pitino’s job. As the day has gone on, more and more of his colleagues locally and nationwide are following suit. Here’s a roundup of the media’s take on what should happen to Pitino now that his program is dealing with yet another major scandal.
I wrote last December about stopping Louisville’s cycle of scandal. It hasn’t stopped. From its foundation to its administration to its athletics department, the cycle keeps spinning.
The institution, and I’m not talking about the athletic department, I’m talking about this entire university, cannot allow this to continue.
It’s Louisville, of course: The school that brought us the strippers scandal and a dirty pair of coaches, Rick Pitino and Bobby Petrino, and NCAA violations and a possibly vacated national title. And worst of all, there’s the academic profile.
This school should’ve never been allowed to join a league that has some of the top universities in the world and prides itself for its academic foundation. In the latest U.S. News & World Report national university rankings, 14 of the 15 ACC schools are ranked among the top 81. Louisville is No. 165.
Start with University of Louisville Athletics Director Tom Jurich, move on to head basketball coach Rick Pitino, and keep moving down the chain until they are all gone.
Fire them all. They deserve it.
They deserved it a long time ago.
If the FBI’s allegations are validated, Louisville has only one option: Remove Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich. Immediately.
Pitino is facing a federal organization that puts people in prison. That’s why his latest problem trumps the previous incidents tenfold.
Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy: Louisville basketball may survive new scandal, with or without Rick Pitino
It may be that Pitino was indeed unaware of anything untoward happening in his program, but that excuse could wear thin after he claimed ignorance of the stripper parties in Louisville’s basketball dorm.
It’s his job to know. He is paid handsomely to know. At the very least, it is his responsibility to hire the sort of people who would not engage in this sort of activity in the pursuit of basketball talent.
Even if what allegedly transpired was kept “very low-key,” at some point the buck has to stop.
Sports Illustrated’s Michael Rosenberg: Defrauded? Universities Named in Justice Department Complaint Got What They Deserved
The University of Louisville was not defrauded. It got exactly what it wanted, what it paid for, what it represented and what it deserved. This is a school that hired Bobby Petrino twice and stood by Rick Pitino when his basketball program hired hookers to entice high school students to go there. Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich created an athletic powerhouse. That was his job. Very few people seemed to care how he did it.
“We got lucky on this one,” Pitino said. “I had an AAU director call me and ask if I’d be interested in a player. I saw him against another great player from Indiana. I said, ‘Yeah, I’d be really interested.’ They had to come in unofficially, pay for their hotel, pay for their meals. We spent zero dollars recruiting a five-star athlete who I loved when I saw him play. In my 40 years of coaching this is the luckiest I’ve been.”
That quote alone is damning in light of this investigation, and if the allegations are true it should finally get Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich fired after they have already survived multiple scandals that would have done in less powerful people.
They probably won’t be the only ones to lose their careers in disgrace.
Pitino needs to resign today.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) September 26, 2017
As his attorney said earlier tonight, he ain’t resigning. What will Louisville do to try to save face?