Yesterday shook the College Basketball world forever. With the news breaking on Tuesday that the FBI was investigating several schools (one of them being Louisville) for fraud, multiple influencers within College Basketball gave their thoughts on the scandal. This includes a lot of former Cats players who looked to Rick as a role model. Here are some of the reactions from former Cats guys, reported by the Courier Journal:
"I can’t speak for all my teammates, but it doesn’t change who he is to me. What I started to think about is I don’t have half the career I wound up having if not for the fact that he treated me the same way he treated Tony Delk and Derek Anderson and Ron Mercer."
“It’s sad to see him have to lose his job this way, but it’s a mistake and it’s a huge mistake. It’s an unfortunate situation, but his legacy and him being a Hall of Famer, what he’s done on the court, is still second to none. We can’t let that overshadow it.”
Obviously, both of these guys have a lot of respect for Rick, and no one should fault them for that. They spent a lot of time with Pitino, and it makes sense for them to have that personal connection with him like they do.
Here are some more reactions from across the country in regards to the Rick Pitino firing:
Dickie V gets in on the action! Immediately mentions how excited BBN must be after the news broke.
Rick Pitino is a friend of 35-yrs. I’m crushed today for U of L, the state & my friend. We’ve had two elite programs in KY forever. Damn.— Rex Chapman (@rex_rexchapman) September 27, 2017
Even though Rex didn’t play for Rick, it looks like there has always been mutual respect between the two. One of the Kentucky greats gives his sympathy for everyone involved, including the state as a whole.
I will never say a bad word about Coach P because have gave me a chance to play college ball. What happened at UL has no impact on me!— Anthony Epps (@epps_anthony) September 27, 2017
This is purely a sign of respect here from Anthony. He understands what Coach Pitino did for him, but, understands that the situation at UofL has no impact on him, so it doesn’t seem like he’s too worried about it.
Billy Donovan says he hasn't spoken to Rick Pitino, a mentor of his, but feels bad for what Pitino and Louisville are going through. pic.twitter.com/K6a7u6X0Hm— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) September 27, 2017
Here’s a video of Billy Donovan explaining his feelings towards the whole situation. Knowing Rick and Billy’s past, this has to be hard on him.
Here’s the press release from Louisville and a statement from Rick Pitino’s lawyer. As you can see, they differ a little bit with the tone.
There are definitely a lot of people who were sensitive to the situation, but it’s safe to say that most made light of it. We decided to show you some of those too!
Today is a good day for the University of Louisville. Want to say congratulations. #goodjob— Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) September 27, 2017
The sarcasm here is unmatched. Patrick obviously has no sympathy for his arch rival!
Rick Pitino is the one id'd in court docs as "Coach-2," who FBI believes spoke to Adidas exec that funneled $100,000 to @GoCards recruit— Aaron Katersky (@AaronKatersky) September 28, 2017
Insane to me: Rick Pitino used the term "We didn't pay a dollar" to land Brian Bowen... when he PERSONALLY MADE THE CALL to get him $100,000— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) September 28, 2017
When Billy Donovan introduces Russ to his newest assistant Rick Pitino. pic.twitter.com/Tio5Zo3cLS— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 27, 2017
Assistant coach Rick Pitino has a nice ring to it.
For those asking if a sports network would hire Rick Pitino.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) September 27, 2017
(Falls off chair laughing).
In a minute.
Bob Knight was hired by ESPN.
Or ESPN2 analyst Rick Pitino.
Them: Fire Rick Pitino— Messy Powell (@Black_Ted_Mosby) September 27, 2017
Tom Jurich: No
Them: Okay, well, you're fired too
Tom Jurich: pic.twitter.com/dsSKTX615T
This meme is an all time classic, and it fits perfectly with the situation.
BREAKING: live shots of Rick Pitino leaving Kentucky. pic.twitter.com/VqnT8ZNTi8— WCB (@bRoBOTT) September 27, 2017
If there’s one thing to say about BBN, they’ve got a crazy sense of humor!
The BBN is relaxing in Tent City while this all unfolds.
And so it ends just as it began. Time is indeed a flat circle. pic.twitter.com/JxojRWb53Y— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) September 27, 2017
It was definitely one of the most eventful days in College Basketball that we’ve seen in a long time. Truthfully, I think most UK fans were so happy because of the multiple accounts of fans saying things like “it’s only a matter of time until Cal gets caught”. Oh irony, such a beautiful thing.
Look, all jokes aside, this could just be the tip of the iceberg. There’s no telling how deeply routed this whole scheme is, and we have no idea who is involved. Knowing this, I’m worried for College Basketball. After listening to the New York Federal Court’s press conference on Tuesday, the speaker made it very clear that there is still a lot more investigating to be done. We can make fun all we want, but things are looking very dim for the game we all love and cheer for.