Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Recap of Rick Pitino’s Interview on KSR’s Aaron Torres Sports Podcast

So as you may have heard by now, Rick Pitino was the most recent guest on the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. He was there to talk about his new book, but in discussing the book, I obviously asked him about a bunch of stuff that needed to be addressed. Mainly, his recruitment of Brian Bowen, his relationships with Jordan Fair and Andre McGee and whether he will ever coach again, be it in college or professionally.

Now before we get into the interview itself, I do think it’s worth mentioning one thing: I tried to go into the interview with an open mind. Admittedly I know that Pitino and KSR have an, umm, checkered history, but even though I work for KSR, I wanted to be fair in the questions I asked and the approach I took to the interview. Do I believe every word Pitino has said through the years about his role in the McGee/Bowen scandals? Absolutely not. Do I believe every word he uttered on my podcast? No. But again, he gave me his time, and while I wanted to ask tough questions, I did want to be fair with him.

So what were some of the highlights of the show and my broader thoughts overall?

Here are a couple key things – and to listen to the whole interview, you can click here.

Pitino sounds like a sad and defeated man

When word started to trickle out that I’d interviewed Pitino, a lot of you reached out and asked what I thought about my conversation with him. Truthfully, the No. 1 takeaway I had wasn’t on Bowen, McGee, truth or lies. It was on the fact that Pitino really does just sound like a sad guy right now.

Now admittedly, he has no one to blame but himself, either for breaking NCAA rules (what most of the public believes) or at the very least for hiring people who broke NCAA rules (which is his version of things). Ultimately no one is feeling sorry for him.

Still, when asked about his time away, he references several times needing to find a “new passion” beyond basketball. It’s clear he still hasn’t found it yet.

He insists there was no reason to see any red flags with Brian Bowen

When we started speaking about the scandals, I immediately began with Brian Bowen. I was particularly interested in the comment that he made when Bowen committed, where he said this was the “luckiest” recruitment he’d ever been part of.

Again, to be clear, this interview isn’t about whether I believe Pitino or not – but asking fair questions for those who doubt him. And this to me, is more than fair. After all, the guy has been involved in college basketball for more than 40 years. It doesn’t take that long being around the sport to know that five-star players don’t just fall out of the sky. Even if Pitino didn’t have proof something fishy was going on, it stands to reason that he should have questioned it.

Ultimately, Pitino stuck to the company line that the commitment only happened because Donovan Mitchell left and a roster spot was open, and that Bowen was “out of options.”

Personally, I’ll agree to disagree.

No five-star player is truly “out of options,” even if they aren’t necessarily good ones.

Two, if he didn’t ask more questions, it is my personal belief he should have.

He disputes Jordan Fair’s role in the Adidas scheme

Fair is the assistant coach at the center of the Bowen controversy, who was said to have been in a Vegas hotel room where the plan to secure Bowen for $100,000 was hatched. According to the FBI, Fair is even heard on wiretap saying that they needed to keep things “low key” because the NCAA was on Louisville for the Andre McGee deal from a few years before.

Pitino had a slightly different version of the events saying that when he talked to Fair, Fair claimed that he left the room as soon as he walked in and saw an envelope full of cash on the table.

When I followed up and asked point blank, “The FBI says they have Fair on wiretap saying to keep things ‘low key’” Pitino slightly changed course, saying that the truth will come out when trials begin in the next few months.

To me, it seemed like he was ducking the question. But ultimately, I’ll let you draw your own conclusion here.

Pitino briefly mentions Papa John and the governor

Again, just go ahead and insert your own commentary here.

Pitino says he wouldn’t believe another coach telling the same stories he is

Towards the end of the interview I ask Pitino point blank if he’d believe another head coach who claimed to be completely innocent after being caught in not one, but two massive NCAA scandals (not to mention an embarrassing personal one).

Pitino admitted he would not.

“As a layman looking back, no I wouldn’t believe him,” Pitino said, before then adding that if the same coach passed a lie detector test and put out a book similar to his own, he would believe him.

While Pitino quickly diverted from his original answer, it was one of the few times I felt genuine candor and honesty from him.

He truly does believe he’ll never coach again

Or so he says, claiming many times that this book is closure and the beginning of the next chapter of his career.

Personally I find it a little bit hard to believe, especially considering the number of times Pitino admits throughout the interview that he is struggling to find a “new passion” in life.

My guess is that we see Pitino on the sidelines again within the next couple years. I doubt – unless he’s cleared in the FBI probe – it’s on a college campus. But I do believe he’ll be on a sideline sometime soon.

Billy Donovan will be his first podcast guest

At the end we finally got to a more laid back portion of the interview where I asked him about his plans for the future. Pitino mentions his podcast, and gives everyone a sneak peek on what to expect: Billy Donovan will be his first guest.

No word yet on how to download the show.

But can subscribe and get the podcast delivered directly to your phone by subscribing to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.  Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise.  Don’t forget to follow the show Instagram too.

[mobile_ad]

Article written by Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres is covering football and basketball for KSR this season after four years at Fox Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Aaron_Torres, Facebook or e-mail at [email protected] He is also the author of the only book written on the Calipari era, “One and Fun: A Behind the Scenes Look at John Calipari and the 2010 Kentucky Wildcats.”

7 Comments for Recap of Rick Pitino’s Interview on KSR’s Aaron Torres Sports Podcast



  1. 4everUKblue
    8:11 pm September 17, 2018 Permalink

    He also said he would never step foot in KY again. And didn’t he also say he would never do another interview? I’m sure there’s more I will never statements by him, I just can’t think of them right now.



  2. BluKudzu
    8:32 pm September 17, 2018 Permalink

    His actions have built a wall around him that has many closed doors leading to burnt bridges.
    His only manner of feeding his ego is his constant contact with the public, via interviews, harboring hope of convincing anyone he is legit.
    Too many issues, too many instances when dealing with the public and administration where his narcissistic values were cast down upon those which believed in him.
    People remember these things, because he made them feel these things. Now too many have seen what he is, and his brand is forever ruined.
    This rivals King Lear in the volumes of sadness cast by this man, to everyone that reached out to him, as coach, mentor, father, husband, (and yes UK fans), saviour.
    I hope he does get back in the game. I doubt he will, unless Jurich becomes AD somewhere. If he does, he will be the most detested villian in basketball, at any level. That is a lot to overcome for any program.
    Just look at the carnage he left behind.



  3. BBNJeffrey
    10:32 pm September 17, 2018 Permalink

    You know, all the things I have heard and read about him; he is generally perceived as a $%$^^%%.
    Karma is a ^&%^&::$%.



  4. kevinhale423
    10:51 pm September 17, 2018 Permalink

    AT – killed it, as always. Good stuff



  5. CombatMedic_98
    11:25 pm September 17, 2018 Permalink

    He is lost…prayers needed for this man…for the love of money is the root of all evil…!



  6. Larkin123
    9:11 am September 18, 2018 Permalink

    I would actually like to hear an interview about his time at Kentucky. LSU game… Leaving Kentucky… unforgettable and untouchables… Probation…

    I know some people Issues with him privately, but he did take us from probation to a championship, a ruuner up, another final four, and contributed to another championship in less than 10 years. Maybe it’s time to bury the hatchet?



  7. Jaxxon1973
    8:28 am September 19, 2018 Permalink

    Needs to coach in the D3 conference Calhoun just joined