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Rick Pitino: “I deserved to be fired by Louisville.”


Things I never thought I would hear Rick Pitino say: “Looking back now, I deserved to be fired by Louisville.I’ve got to take ownership and responsibility for the people I was leading.”

Say what? Rick Pitino really said that?

Yes he did in an interview with WFAN, a New York sports radio station.

Pitino was hired as the new coach at Iona on Saturday and on Monday seems to have admitted he was at fault for the NCAA violations that led to his firing at Louisville in 2017. During his time at Louisville the Cardinals were investigated for having prostitutes in the players’ dorm and then investigated a few years later for paying a player to sign with the Cardinals.
Pitino acknowledged on the radio show he hired the assistants involved in the wrongdoing and he should have been more diligent.
“Excuses I believe always are a sign of weakness. And I made excuses. I should have just said, ‘I hired them, I take full responsibility, the ax has to fall on me.’ Which it did. And move on. I wish I would have just handled it that way,” Pitino said.
Iona apparently is not worried about the NCAA coming down with any sanctions for Pitino since he was given a five-year contract at just over $1 million per year. He told the radio station was “definitely” his final coaching job.


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  1. Garbage in, garbage out

    1. You think so Rick? If you didn’t know than there is not a cow in Texas. How they could ever hire this guy back into the college ranks as a coach is just crazy.

  2. He took responsibility for hiring them, but not for knowing what they did?????

    1. That is the Rick we know and love

  3. Here’s what I don’t get were the hatre toward Eddie Sutton that got UK the Shaft from the NCAA. Just give Rick Pitino credit what he did restore our program and move on. So be it he left for the greener pasture and coach at Louisville .

    1. No one can dispute what Rick did from UK. Brought it back from the ashes quicker than I think anyone else could have

    2. Eddie Sutton and his staff did nothing wrong. That was a setup by a UCLA alum in retaliation for KY recruiting Chris Mills away from California. Nothing was proved because David Roselle refused to defend the program. He accepted the NCAA allegations as truth without an investigation. Otis Singletary would have fought it and would have won! Coach Casey ended up being the fall guy. The Indiana based NCAA had a vendetta against us from the start. Where was that ferocity in prosecution in the North Carolina scandal that was proved to be true?

  4. Rick raised us up from a very low point and went on to bury our biggest rival.
    Cast aside what was said or done in the middle.
    We should treat him based on his accomplishments.
    Restore prominence to our program.
    Destroy our rival.

    Jobs well done

    1. I guess morals, and playing by the rules that every other university has to abide by don’t matter anymore, right? He did his job at UK and was paid well for it, UK owes him nothing. If some of you fans want to hold Pitino up as some sort of a hero, go ahead, but he turned his back on Kentucky the day he took the Louisville job, That said, “SOME” UK fans will never get over that. This guy is a gamble for any college who hires him now, He is damaged goods. You better make sure you monitor his recruiting policies Iona.

  5. Pitino sold us out in the 97 tournament by not letting Derek Anderson play in the championship game. Had Derek played, Miles Simon would not have had the game of his life as Derek would have been guarding him and we would have won in regulation instead of losing in overtime.
    The media was portraying Pitino as a basketball wizard and he thought as much himself. Had he stayed at UK, Pitino would have most likely won 3 national titles in a row…96, 97, and 98 plus who knows how many after that.
    He indeed would have become the second coming of John Wooden. Taking the Boston job proved otherwise. He never made the playoffs, but after he left, Tom Thibadeau took the same team and made it to the playoffs in his first season as coach.
    Pitino didn’t take the Louisville job to disrespect us, it was the highest profile job available at the time and the $2,000,000 salary made it a no brainer. He became a much better college coach after the humbling he took at Boston, but the way he ran the program there was a disgrace.
    I am shocked that he got another college job, but Iona is not exactly a powerhouse and at the age of 67, I doubt that Rick do much there, other than have a wild time on the recruiting trail and in some restaurant after hours.

    1. As for him winning three national titles is a row, the second coming of Wooden, I doubt it. He disrespected UK for taking the job to start with 33, and many UK fans to this day see it that way. If you will recall that hire, he could have had the Michigan job but turned it down just hours before taking the Louisville reins. To me Michigan was a better job anyway at that time. Big 10 basketball, etc. His ego is larger than Texas. Like I said though, Cal had his number on the recruiting trail and on the floor, and that was the reason him and Jurich chose to cheat, and called the girls in too bolster their recruiting. Only problem, they got caught. Of course they both denied any wrongdoing, but the Louisville brass had had enough of old Rick, and big Tom. The little guys in the program ultimately took the fall. Sad story if you care anything about playing by the rules. Iona apparently could care less about things like that.

  6. Pitino lost in the championship game in 97 to Lute Olsen’s Arizona team. So there goes your three in a row.

  7. Pup,
    You are as dense as granite. Go back and read the first paragraph that reads Pitino sold us out.

    1. It was coaching decision by Pitino at the time, and had he played Derek Anderson, you don’t know anymore than anyone else if that would have been the difference in the outcome of the game, just your opinion…… maybe. Simon was a great college player. My point is, it would have been impossible for Pitino to have won three NC’s in a row since he lost the 97 game to a better Arizona team, and coach. Pitino then bolted for the NBA. Had he stayed at UK he probably wins the 98 championship, but it would only be speculation on my part. Tubby took care of that business. My other point and view to this day is that Pitino sold us UK fans out by taking the Louisville job when he had already committed to Michigan. That is fact, but old Rick went back on his word to Michigan and took the Louisville job instead when he knew it would cause a stir with UK fans who had loved and supported him all those years. Loyalty means something to some of us 33. He was a multi millionaire, not a destitute looking for work. He probably could have been hired by UK after the Gillespie era had he been available. Also, from what I recall reported at the time, “Mr. Wildcat,” Bill Keightley tried to talk him out of taking the Louisville job. By the way, no finer man and UK loyalist than Keightley. May he RIP.

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