Rick Pitino Needs a Period of Reflection

Bill WrightCorrespondent IAugust 28, 2009

LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 27:  Rick Pitino the Head Coach of the Louisville Cardinals is pictured during the game against the UAB Blazers on December 27, 2008 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville won 82-62.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

I just heard Rick Pitino say that he's "had enough" of the media coverage of his adventures. While I'm a forgiving guy (Michael Vick should play, and Plaxico Burress' sentence is excessive), I have very little sympathy for Coach Pitino.

I can't understand how he's still considered fit to lead young men.

I am not saying that there are perfect people out there. I have my problems, and I'm sure Coach K and Roy Williams have theirs. OK, Coach K might be close to perfect, so let's replace him with Rick Majerus. 

But my problem stems from the publicity and lack of humility of the subjects involved, especially Pitino in this case. He should be let go.

If I were ever blessed to have a son consider a top-notch school like Louisville, I would immediately utilize my parental veto power and scratch the Cardinals off the list of potentials.

I understand that his current recruits remain committed to Pitino and Louisville, but they were impressed with him before all of this came out.

What future recruits can he land? Forget about the fact that his competitors will use this against him. Any caring family network will think twice about having this type of influence around their son for so many hours during the week.

I assume that the only recruits Pitino can sign now are those who come from one-parent households consisting of a half-time mother, no father figure, and no Internet access. Who would encourage a young, impressionable man to attend Louisville right now?

Perhaps a few years off, a sort of penance, would benefit Pitino, his family, and whatever potential program he coaches. I know that would weigh positively on my mind during the consideration process if Pitino were recruiting my child.

Rick Pitino has no right to be upset. He has no right to "have enough" of whatever criticism he is receiving. And he certainly has no place invoking Ted Kennedy's death into the mix.

He made a very poor decision. As the leader of a group of young men, the face of an institution, and a world-renowned coach of basketball, he should understand the impact he has and how his actions influence others.

How would a recruiting trip unfold with Pitino in the dining room of a prospect, speaking to caring parents?

"Mr. Johnson, I want your son to play for me at Louisville. We're like a family. He'll develop on the court, and he'll become a citizen we can be proud of."

Mr. Johnson's son will have to "do as I say and not as I do." Would Mr. Johnson's son not be expected to treat a woman like a placemat? Would Mr. Johnson's son be expected to cover up any trouble he gets into? 

I'm not saying that Pitino is irredeemable. But instead of crawling into the corner in an apologetically humble position, he's sticking his chest out acting as if he's been wronged and deserves to continue being the leader of young men. 

I believe, without a doubt, that he has true remorse and will never act in this manner again (remember, I'm forgiving...maybe too forgiving), but time heals wounds. I used to be a huge Pitino fan, enamored by his intensity, tenacity, and take-no-crap attitude.

He now needs to take the I'm-full-of-crap attitude and take some time to adjust it. Maybe then I would consider having my son play for him. 

It's called reflection—there is no better rehabilitator. 


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