Cardinal Sin: Rick Pitino Incident Shows Morals Don't Matter in College Sports

Jason ChaeContributor IAugust 30, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 29:  Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals coaches against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

By now, I'm sure the average sports fan is familiar with the Rick Pitino incident. 

But in case you aren't, here's a quick recap.

Six years ago, Pitino, who is married and supposedly a devout Catholic, had sex with a random woman he had just met in an upscale Louisville Italian restaurant that was owned by his friend. He had sex while at least one of his personal assistants, Vinny Tatum, was in the other room to "stand guard" so to speak. 

Now, Pitino is angry because he says the media is making too much about his story and that his family has gone through hell. 

My take on the whole thing is that Pitino should find himself lucky to still have a job. 

It's not surprising the University of Louisville has basically given him a vote of confidence and backed him the whole way. After all, with Pitino, Louisville is a legit Final Four contender year in and year out. With the continued success of the basketball program, the more money the university will make. 

Let's not be naive about this situation. James Ramsey, the president of Louisville, is only letting Pitino keep his job because he's Rick Pitino. If this happened at a less historically successful basketball program with a less historically successful coach, he would already be out of a job.

Iowa State would be a good example. Remember Larry Eustachy? The head coach of Iowa State basketball that got photographed drinking Natty Ice and kissing girls at a campus party at the University of Missouri after a game?

While what Eustachy did was inappropriate, it wasn't anywhere near the sordid level of what Pitino has donecheating on his wife and giving the girl $3,000 for an abortion when he believed she was pregnant. Eustachy was forced into resignation shortly after the pictures surfaced.

Or say this happened at Louisville, but to a coach of a sport that doesn't generate revenue as men's basketball. If it happened to a volleyball or swimming coach, would they be allowed to keep their job? Not likely. 

This Pitino incident serves as a good reminder to what college sports is really about at the big-time level. It's not about teaching kids about competition and sportsmanship or anything of that sort. 

It's certainly not about ethics, morals, or doing the right thing either. 

It's just all about making money.