Louisville head coach Rick Pitino will meet with the NCAA next month to discuss the prostitution scandal that has put the Cardinals’ basketball program in some hot water, and managed to throw some shade at Kentucky in defending it.
Pitino appeared on ESPN’s Mike and Mike today and took a shot at in-state rival Kentucky over coach John Calipari’s common practice of recruiting players who only attend college for a year before turning pro, while Pitino heavily stresses academics.
“We didn’t need this to get recruits,” Pitino said. “You know we’re not Kentucky where we’re recruiting the one-and-dones.”
Pitino may be on to something here, but it also sounds like he’s trying to deflect attention away from the Cardinals. Louisville’s basketball program has been rocked by an alleged prostitution scandal since before the season started, when a tell-all book said that former assistant Andre McGee hired escorts and strippers as a means of luring recruits to the program. Pitino has denied any involvement or knowledge of what went on, and Louisville went so far as to self-impose a postseason ban during the NCAA’s investigation.
That said, though he went on to discuss how he turned a former two-star recruit recruit in guard Russ Smith into an All-American and saw another low-level recruit in center Gorgui Dieng go on to be the Minnesota Timberwolves’ starting center, throwing shade at Kentucky probably wasn’t the best move Rick Pitino could have made at this point.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports