Mum’s The Word, Pitino

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One celebrity coach hereabouts is starting to grate on the nerves.

Less than three days before the football season starts, this one is attempting, successfully, to hog the media spotlight. Making news by hiring an assistant coach with strong ties to a blue chip recruit, granting an exclusive interview with a local TV station, doing impromptu press conferences. What’s next?

The observer concurs wholeheartedly with one of the observer’s former bosses — Earl Cox, retired Courier-Journal sports editor — who makes this demand in this week’s Voice-Tribune:

“Pitino needs to be reminded ‘forcefully’ by Ramsey and Jurich that there are other sports on the campus besides basketball.”

Starting to remind me of a former U of L coach who didn’t know when to stop talking, and wound up losing the respect of his players.

Quiet. Hush. Go away for a few weeks.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

7 thoughts on “Mum’s The Word, Pitino

  • September 2, 2009 at 8:34 pm
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    I’m going to take a counterpoint stance here in the interest of bringing up some things about Cardinal Basketball, Rick Pitino and his sorry situation.

    First of all, Rick is at a point noe in his career where the next two or three recruiting classes will define the work that he has done at the University of Louisville. Forget the Final Four runs, the Big East titles…the fan base forgets so easily and in this “I want it now and I want it fresh” society…it’s the Rick Pitino 2009 people are talking about. He may have 4 or 5 years left, who knows, but he must convey the idea of him being there for the incoming players to the program and his desire to make them the best basketball players they can be. This translates to fan satisfaction with the product. Whether they stay one year or four…properly trained players win games and that makes Cardinal fans happy.

    Football is not going to heat up for a couple of weeks…that being the annual game against Kentucky. Sure, the atmosphere in PJCS this Saturday will be fun, festive and should produce a lopsided win…but if you don’t think that the battle in Commonwealth isn’t on every fan and players mind right now…you better adjust your thinking cap. Pitino’s media interviews accomplish two things…they stress that he’s on the job and his desire is still strong.

    Cardinal Athletics has several strong fall sports to be proud of. Our field hockey team will be powerful and a Big East contender. Volleyball draws packed crowds and Leonard Yelin has established a perennial contender in the Big East. Soccer will be a force on both the men’s and women’s teams. It’s important for Cardinal fans to no that Pitino isn’t diverting all his energy and time into the defense against the sordid actions of a crazy woman. He’s doing what we pay him the big bucks for…getting the Hoop Cards ready to roll. Any media coverage of this only accentuates the message that it will still be Pitino on that bench guiding a solid returning squad into a demanding schedule.

    Given the probable lackluster potential of Cardinal Football…we may borrow the old UK adage that was out there for years after the football team started to flounder….”We’re a Basketball school”

    With Pitino (and Jeff Walz) on board….the statement has never been truer, lately.

    • September 3, 2009 at 8:58 am
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      Paul, what you say is true but if Louisville wants to be respected for its total athletic program and to regain national respect, we’ve got to get over basketball during the football season. Of course, that requires a winning football program and a fan base that is equally avid about the king of college sports.

      • September 3, 2009 at 12:57 pm
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        I doubt we’ll ever stop talking about basketball all year long because it is the most successful sport we’ve ever had at UofL. Once football gets to the point where it wins two national titles…the conversation will roll all year along about it, too. I’m a football guy, and want so badly for us to get back to the annual bowl trip scenario and top 25 rankings. Yeah, we’re doing it the “right way” currently…but I miss those trips to Jacksonville and Miami. As far as total respect for Cardinal Athletics on a national basis…Tom Jurich is widely recognized as one of the best AD’s out there, the WBB program has made significant strides over the past several years and volleyball makes the NCAA Tournament every year. Football improvement would be great, but Syracuse stays in the national limelight and they stink at football, too. Same with UConn. Will we ever reach Florida magnitute? Probably not for a long time given the current state of affairs…

  • September 2, 2009 at 10:04 pm
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    He’s spinning, but he’s getting close to spinning out of control. Why does this have to happen to us?

  • September 2, 2009 at 11:50 pm
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    Do you really think he gets it??? He has met his match
    with Sypher because she loves the cameras too.

    This situation has opened an ugly circle of events with Pitino and his handlers — Rick was able to keep it quiet for 6 years…. I am afraid other circumstances may surface. He is tarnished and keeping quiet isn’t easy for this guy.

  • September 3, 2009 at 5:51 am
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    oh, for heaven’s sake

    you’ll have your football soon enough—if you can stomach it

  • September 3, 2009 at 7:10 am
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    He is definitely spinning out of control, not to his advantage… I agree that he has met his match with Sypher; they both love the camera…

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