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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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