There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and Rick Pitino finding a camera so he can deny wrongdoing in the Louisville stripper scandal.
For his latest turn in the spotlight, Pitino sat down with Lesley Visser to discuss his journey since being ousted by UofL in 2017. The full interview will air on August 23, but CBS Sports Network released this six-minute clip on Twitter last night.
Lesley Visser sat down with Rick Pitino for an exclusive interview. Watch a clip of the interview from tonight’s We Need To Talk. pic.twitter.com/RXb2aGjIIT
— CBS Sports Network (@CBSSportsNet) August 13, 2019
Some takeaways because it’s Wednesday afternoon and there’s not much else going on:
— Pitino says the reason he turned down Panathinaikos’ offer to return as head coach is his grandson’s health. The one-year-old boy has a rare form of epilepsy, so Pitino is using the next six months to do what he can to help. We joke a lot about Pitino on here, but that is seriously sad. Here’s hoping they’re able to get the resources and assistance they need.
— From there, Pitino tells the story surrounding his final days at Louisville, claiming that, in hindsight, he’s more upset that Tom Jurich got fired than he did (ha!). Once again, we get to hear that there’s no way he could have known about the strippers because his nephews lived next to Andre McGee and even they didn’t know.
“How the hell was I supposed to know that? Am I the leader? Yes. Do I have to take responsibility for anything that goes on? Yes.”
Wait for it…
“I can’t sit here though and say, I should have known because if I could have known, I would have stopped it within ten seconds and I don’t know what I would have done. It would have been very, very severe to the people that did this.”
— When Lesley asks about the Brian Bowen incident, specifically, how his staff could break the rules yet again without him knowing, Pitino doubles down.
“There’s nothing I could have done different because I mentored these guys and taught them the discipline and the rules the same way I did for 30-plus years.”
— Now that he’s back in the States (and Papa John Schnatter and David Grissom are off the Board of Trustees), will Pitino consider returning to Louisville?
“One hundred percent. I loved the University of Louisville. I loved the University of Kentucky. I loved the people of Kentucky. I’m not going to let five to seven, ten people spoil my feelings for a place I spent 17 years. The one thing you learn when you’re 66 is, man, put it behind you and get over yourself.”
The irony of Rick Pitino talking about moving on in yet another interview about the past is so, so rich.