By LARRY VAUGHT
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.