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 #28 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Chat With Mano Watsa, a Leading Basketball and Life Educator – Watsa is President of PGC Basketball, the largest education basketball camp in the world, with over 150 camps in 30+ U.S. states and Canada. We discuss problems in youth sports today, including single sport specialization, the growing gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” the high drop-out rate in competitive sports, and the growing mental health challenges young athletes are dealing with today.
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Episode #27 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Kids’ Sports: How We Can Take Back the Game and Restore Quality Family Time In the Process – Linda Flanagan is author of “Take Back the Game: How Money and Mania Are Ruining Kids’ Sports and Why It Matters.” We discuss how commercialized and professionalized youth sports are hurting kids and their families.
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.”
Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
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.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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