Pitino Needs to Go

College basketball which has seen its fair share of scandals over the past few years, has found itself entrenched in a new one involving another high profile coach and program.   Rick Pitino coach of the Louisville Cardinals is under fire after a story by ESPN’s Outside the Lines (OTL) reported that sex parties were held for players and recruits during Pitino’s tenure.  The report cited a former recruit stating, “…it was like a strip club.”  In the report OTL also noted that there was a wire transfer from Andre McGee [Pitino’s former director of basketball operations] to an escort service along with text messages confirming the parties; those came from McGee’s cell phone.

Pitino claims to have no knowledge of what happened and he’s had no qualms with putting all the heat on McGee.   He’s known and widely praised by the media as one of the best college basketball coaches in the country.  I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways.  You can’t be considered (by yourself and others) as one the greatest coaches in the country while not being completely involved and up-to-date on everything involving your program.  If you’re a great coach (which Pitino is) then you’d make a point to keep yourself appraised to everyone that your players, coaches and staff interact with on and off the court.

Those that want to come to Pitino’s defense can go right ahead, but you’re wasting your time.  This is Pitino’s second scandal since he began coaching for Louisville in 2001, and this one is much worse.  It’s one thing to have an affair with one of your staffer’s wives, but it’s another thing entirely when a former staffer is holding illegal parties for recruits under your watch.  I understand that there’s no concrete evidence that links Pitino to this scandal, but I find it very hard to believe that he knew absolutely nothing.

Rick Pitino is a Hall of Fame college basketball coach and is considered to be one the best of all-time.  He’s also a world class sleaze-ball that should be fired from his position immediately.  Whether he was directly or indirectly responsible for these parties, he knew something was going on.  There’s no way that a coach who’s considered one of the greatest ever, doesn’t know all the ins and outs of his program.  If it ever comes out that he really didn’t know about this, then he should lose his Hall of Fame credentials because a true Hall of Fame coach, would know everything that ensues within his program.


In The Pantheon of College Basketball Coaches: Auriemma is King

The Men’s and Women’s College Basketball season officially ended Tuesday night when the UConn women defeated Notre Dame to capture their third straight national championship. Duke held off Wisconsin the night before to capture their second title in five years. Arguably the two biggest schools coached by the two greatest coaches in their given sport, won the title this year and yet one coach’s accomplishments are being overlooked by the other; and it’s unclear as to why.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K) won his fifth title Monday night, putting him in elite company. The only coach to have more national titles in Men’s College Basketball is the great John Wooden (who won 10 titles in 12 years). Krzyzewski is without a doubt the most accomplished coach of this generation. During his 40 years of coaching (first five years were at Army) he’s won 5 titles (all at Duke), been to 12 Final Four’s and has won 1,018 games. He’s also coached the U.S. Men’s Olympic team to two straight gold medals. With the exception of Wooden, there’s not coach in the history of Men’s College Basketball whose accolades come close to Krzyzewski’s.      

With all that being said, his accomplishments are nowhere near as impressive as the coach who just won his third straight National Championship and tenth overall.

On Tuesday night, Geno Auriemma cemented his legacy as the greatest women’s basketball coach of all-time; and is well on his way to becoming the greatest men’s and women’s college basketball coach ever. His accomplishments are too many to list, so we’ll stick to the basics. He’s won 10 titles (and is 10-0 in title games), been to 15 Final Four’s, won 918 games and coached the Women’s Olympic Basketball team to 2 gold medals. There isn’t another current or active coach that matches Auriemma’s resume. Coach K is a close second with his five national titles but he’s 5-4 in title games while Auriemma is still perfect.

If you’re still not convinced of Auriemma’s brilliance here’s a stat that should put you over the top. Since 1995 (the year that the UConn Women won their first title) Auriemma has coached the UConn Women to 10 titles. No other teams in college and/or professional sports have won more than 5.

Let’s let that skink in for a moment.

In a twenty year span, they’ve doubled the amount of championships of any professional/college team. That’s unbelievable. There’s never been a coach in the history of college basketball (or pro for that matter, but that’s a whole other topic) who has been this dominant for this long. Yes, what John Wooden did was incredible, but he also did it in a diluted era of college ball. It only took a couple games to make it to the title game, whereas now, a team has to win six before they can be crowned champions. Not to mention the level of competition is a hell of a lot more competitive now, then it was back in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

In my opinion, Auriemma is the greatest college basketball coach of all-time. He’s single handedly revolutionized a sport that has never received the “mainstream” coverage that it deserved. Women’s (College & Pro) basketball’s popularity is a result of his success; after all, half of the WNBA is made up of his former players. The man is a perfect 10-0 in title games, not to mention his 5 undefeated seasons along with a NCAA record of 90 consecutive wins. How anyone can argue against his run of excellence is beyond me.

Even if you don’t believe he’s the best of all time, you can’t deny his place on the Mount Rushmore of college basketball coaches for both men and women. His run of excellence and domination in a sport is something that may never be seen again; so please take off those rose colored/gender biased goggles a give the man his due.


***The “You” I was referring to throughout this post was for the mainstream media and those sexist sports fans that are unwilling to give Auriemma his due because he’s not a Men’s basketball coach.