Pittsburgh head coach Kevin Stallings let his frustrations get the best of him on Tuesday night as the Panthers dropped an ACC road game at Louisville.
According to multiple reports, Stallings got into a verbal altercation with a fan towards the end of the game as the coach said, “at least we didn’t pay our guys $100,000,” to someone behind the Pitt bench.
In speaking with reporters after the game, and the incident, Stallings acknowledged that he probably didn’t say the right thing in handling the situation but that he wasn’t going to stand by and do nothing as someone insulted his players.
“Somebody said something bad about my players, and so I’m just going to stick up for my players,” Stallings told reporters. “Probably said the wrong thing, but I’m not going to let people talk crap about my players. We’re down, the game’s over with, you don’t need to insult kids who are out there trying to fight hard and do their best.”
Stallings’ comments to the fan are presumably about Louisville’s involvement in the FBI investigation for alleged bribery. According to a federal complaint, Adidas executives and a Louisville coach brokered an agreement to pay $100,000 to the family of Louisville freshman Brian Bowen, who never suited up for the Cardinals after the allegations came to light. Rick Pitino eventually lost his job as Louisville’s head coach and the federal complaint has changed the outlook of the entire season for the Cardinals.
Clearly, Stallings is fed up with how things are going for his program right now as Pitt has struggled to an 8-7 start following Tuesday’s 26-point loss. Always outspoken about a number of issues facing college basketball, Stallings can’t be faulted for sticking up for his players. At least Stallings was smart enough to admit that he probably should have said something else rather than bringing an ugly investigation into the mix.