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.

Wolff writes:

“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


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