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 #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 and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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.
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