As we eagerly await the NCAA Tournament, one question refuses to go away: How does Louisville coach Rick Pitino still have a job?
The school continues to fend off allegations, the latest coming from ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,’’ which says that at least three former Cardinals recruits have confirmed to the NCAA that they attended parties on campus where strippers performed and prostitutes were paid to have sex with the players.
Louisville already has imposed a one-year postseason ban on itself for violations it admitted committing during the scandal. The former staffer who allegedly paid for the strippers to dance and have sex with recruits in one of the school’s dorms is no longer with the program. And although Louisville has tried to punch holes in madam Katina Powell’s tell-all book, the scandal has dragged the school into the mud. This might sound like a naïve lament, but aren’t institutions of higher learning supposed to be far above this sort of thing?
Above it all sits Pitino, a winning coach who insists he knew nothing of the shenanigans going on with recruits. Even if we take him at his hard-to-believe word, he is the chief executive officer of Louisville’s basketball corporation. Not knowing shouldn’t be enough to save his job. This being the cesspool of college basketball, it probably will be.