Despite pledging to never give another interview, former Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino returned to the airwaves Wednesday addressing a number of issues, including the stripper scandal that led to the Cardinals' 2013 national championship banner being taken down.
“For four years, this went on four times a year, for a total of $5,800, you’re going to take down the national championship?” Pitino said on Louisville WKRD-AM's "Ramsey and Rutherford" Wednesday, referring to the money spent on escorts by one of his former assistants. “For a rogue employee who did the wrong thing when no one else was involved? You’re going to take down a championship that those kids earned and deserved? Now you can take a banner down, but you can’t take a championship away. And I still believe someday that championship will be reinstalled and those banners put back once the NCAA comes to their senses.”
Pitino was back in the news Wednesday after comments he made in other interviews with the Washington Post earlier this year became part of a story on how the shoe and apparel company Adidas maneuvered to keep prized recruit Romeo Langford in its camp. The story outlined how thousands in sponsorship money went to Langford's AAU team, and his father as team director, a practice Pitino noted was legal.
Show co-host Mike Rutherford asked what Pitino would say to critics who might question how the coach knew so much about Adidas and Langford, but did not know about the money allegedly funneled to Brian Bowen, which became a major part of the FBI investigation that ultimately led to Pitino's firing.
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“You know, I’m so tired of listening to that stupid stuff," Pitino replied. "Someone said to me the other day, “You make so much money, how could you not know that (former assistant) Andre McGee had strippers? Or you know everyone’s body fat, how could you not know?” And then I tell them 'I’m probably the last person on Earth that would know.' Because, if I did find out, Andre McGee knows he would be gone within 10 seconds, so he’s going to do everything to keep that from me. Well, if the assistant coaches don’t know, if security in the dorm doesn’t know, if my nephews, whose dad was named after of that dorm don't know, if 20 managers don’t know — but more important — if Luke Hancock, Stephan Van Treese, Mike Marra, Gorgui Dieng, if they had no idea what was going on, and they live in the dormitory, how the hell am I supposed to know what’s going on in that dorm? So when it gets down to it, if you just have a little common sense, and instead of talking and spewing all the time BS, and you just listen a little bit, be rational, there’s absolutely no way any coach making $6-7 million is going to risk the slightest thing going wrong.”
Listen to the entire interview below.