Since Rick Pitino lost his job at the University of Louisville, he’s proclaimed innocence. As FBI investigators connected Coach-2 to the pay-for-play college basketball scandal, he admitted no fault.
Unable to shut his mouth, the more Pitino has talked, the more defiant he has become. The last we heard from Slick Rick, he told Jeff Goodman he’s ready to coach again, and he’s prepared to reveal any and all documents to prove his innocence. The Washington Post took him up on that offer.
Will Hobson met with Pitino for more than two hours in Miami after Pitino allowed a reporter to comb through transcripts of his text messages to different parties in the scandal. The immense report paints a much clearer picture of the scandal as we know it. Most importantly, it provides hilarious quotes like this:
“I wish I was on a wiretap, because that would declare my innocence, 100 percent,” Pitino said.
The timing of the story is impeccable. Last night Marc Stein of The New York Times reported Pitino is a candidate for the Milwaukee Bucks’ head coaching vacancy. Pitino once again reiterated his desire to return to coaching, but the greatest revelation from the WaPo story is what Rick has been doing since he was fired.
He spends his days in the gym and on the golf course. He’s been doing more reading; concerned friends have sent along self-help books. When he wants solitude, Pitino takes his boat, The Floating Cardinal — “I know, I’m going to change the name,” he said — on a short trek over to Shuckers, a dockside bar attached to the back of a Best Western where the locals tend to leave him be as he sits at the bar, orders a salad and watches a game.
Rick Pitino is reading self-help books at the Best Western bar. How the mighty have fallen.