Less than six months removed from getting fired by the University of Louisville, Rick Pitino is looking to get back into the coaching game.
“The level doesn’t matter to me,” he told ESPN. “I just need it to be someone who believes in me.”
Pitino was fired by Louisville as a result of the FBI’s investigation into college basketball in September. The Louisville program was alleged to have attempted to funnel $100,000 to five-star recruit Brian Bowen through Adidas. Pitino was reportedly one of the coaches involved in setting up that transaction, although he has vociferously any claim that he has paid players.
That issue has yet to make it through the NCAA process, but Pitino’s problems with the association don’t end there. His program employed an assistant coach that held parties for players and recruits that involved hookers and strippers that were paid for by the coach. That scandal resulted in the program being forced to vacate the 2012 Final Four and 2013 National Title.
“I’ve been assassinated by the Southern District of N.Y.,” Pitino said, “without any wiretap or shred of evidence, and the University of Louisville. That being said, I love teaching basketball and am more passionate than ever.”
I don’t know that Pitino will actually be able to get a job during this cycle of the coaching carousel, but I do think that he’ll eventually find his way back into coaching. Dave Bliss has gotten multiple jobs in recent years, and what he did at Baylor was light years worse than what Pitino is accused of doing at Louisville. The question is what Pitino would be willing to settle for.