By Ken Reed
The Rick Pitino scandal at the University of Louisville is just the latest example of college head coaches claiming to know nothing about improprieties in their program.
As Alexander Wolff so aptly put it in his spot-on commentary in the November 2nd issue of Sports Illustrated, “‘Plausible deniability’ for head coaches is all the rage in college sports — so much so that “plausible” is approaching implausibility.”
Pitino claims to not know a thing — not a thing! — about allegations by Katina Powell, the owner of a local escort service, who claims that Pitino assistant, Andre McGee, paid for strippers for basketball dorm parties. The strippers also allegedly offered sex acts to recruits and others associated with Pitino’s program. Allegedly, these actions took place at 22 parties across a four-year span.
“The Cardinals’ coach, whose brand is built around leadership and managerial competence and who lectures businessmen in best sellers entitled Lead to Succeed, and Success Is a Choice, says he had no clue.”
The next thing you know, Pitino, a beacon of character, will write a book telling us how much he cares about the young men in his program, how important setting a good example is, how he focuses on developing the whole person, not just the basketball player, ad nauseum.
Fortunately, for Pitino, he has a very good winning percentage at Louisville, and at the college level in general. If not, he would be gone. But like Bobby Knight, who could get away with anything at Indiana as long as he was winning, Pitino gives fans, boosters, ADs and school presidents “W’s.” And “W’s” bring in revenue. And revenue for big-time college sports programs that operate under the non-profit umbrella of an educational institution, is viewed very favorably by school presidents and others in the college sports industry.
It’s enough to make you puke, especially when the hypocrisy pours from coaches who author books telling us how to live our lives.
Pitino’s latest book? The One-Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life.
Give it a rest Rick.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan in the year 2022.
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Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
Episode #20 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Youth and High School Sports Based On What’s Best for the Athlete’s Holistic Development – We chat with long-time youth, high school and college basketball coach Jim Huber.
Episode #19 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Capturing the Spirit of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League with Anika Orrock – We discuss the hoops AAGPFL women had to jump through to play the game they loved as well as the long-term impact and legacy they have in advancing sports opportunities for girls and women.
Episode #18 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking about the 50th Anniversary of Title IX and the Lia Thomas Controversy with Nancy Hogshead-Makar – Hogshead-Makar is a triple gold medalist in swimming, a civil rights attorney and CEO of Champion Women.
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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