Rick Pitino Gets Tattoo to Fulfill Promise to Louisville Players

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2013

Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino may be a 60-year-old grandfather of four, but that didn't stop him from fulfilling his promise of getting a tattoo if the Cardinals won the 2013 national championship.

According to Louisville senior associate athletic director Kenny Klein, Pitino got a tattoo on his left shoulder blade. It appears to say "2013 NCAA Champions" with a sharp-looking Louisville "L" logo as well.

According to Paul Myerberg of USA Today, Pitino told his team in the middle of the season that if they went on to win the title, he would get inked up. Perhaps Pitino was just joking and using it as a motivational tool at the time, but it worked, and he is holding up his end of the bargain.

It was apparent throughout the season and the NCAA tournament that the Cardinals were a close-knit team. They banded together when guard Kevin Ware broke his leg against Duke in the Elite Eight, and they played inspired basketball from that point forward.

Louisville was among the best squads all season long, but it somehow managed to raise its play to another level during the tourney. Pitino's influence probably had a lot to do with it, as the Hall of Fame coach is a great teacher and motivator. He also knew how to keep his team loose.

The only question at this point is what Pitino will do for an encore. Star guard Russ Smith decided to stay in school for next season, and although it will be difficult for Pitino to top a tattoo, perhaps a piercing is in order if Louisville becomes the first school to repeat since Florida.

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