Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why Louisville should fire Rick Pitino

Imagine a high school baseball player being instructed not to take PEDs by a player who took PEDs and made it to the big leagues. Would the high school athlete listen to coach’s words or follow his past actions?

The University of Louisville has a similar situation on their hands in how they deal with Rick Pitino who admitted to having sex with a woman six years ago in a restaurant who then allegedly attempted to extort $10 million dollars. His latest book, Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0, might have been foreshadowing things to come in his personal life. Pitino has had a second career as an author, motivational speaker and preaching leadership skills to whoever would scratch him a check. Now that this development has come out, will his players and recruits and corporate followers, listen to him when he teaches them the art of success?

Pitino is paid millions of dollars to lead the transformation of kids into men. Can he do that now? Pitino will try to spin this as a “learn from my mistake” lesson. Unlike the evangelical leader caught with a male prostitute who claims to be swayed by Satan, Pitino can’t spin it like that. When you represent the university and arguably are the face of the University of Louisville, you can’t be caught up in those situations, ever. Blaming it on an “indiscretion” is not a valid excuse. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer was not allowed to slide based on his “indiscretion.” Also, unlike Pitino’s spinning, the University of Louisville president, James Ramsey, implied that Pitino was not entirely truthful in his dealings with the university. Ramsey said in a statement, “Several months ago, Coach Pitino informed me about the alleged extortion attempt. I’ve now been informed that there may be other details which, if true, I find surprising.”

Shouldn’t the university president expect the same from Coach Pitino as Pitino expect from his players, or is that asking too much?