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  • College Basketball will Survive Offseason, FBI Probe

    By LARRY VAUGHT

    LOUISVILLE — Sporting News college basketball columnist Mike DeCourcy believes college basketball will survive its “worst offseason” and FBI probe into corruption.

    He’s not sure what might lie ahead, but DeCourcy — one of the nation’s most respected college basketball writers — believes most of the problems with the sport go beyond basketball.

    That “worst offseason” included the dismissal of Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino at Louisville after his name was linked to a report from the FBI about corruption just two years after the stripper scandal in a Louisville dorm named for Pitino’s brother-in-law that could cost the Cards their 2012 national championship banner.

    “When the thing in the dorm was revealed, I had people close to him (Pitino) call me and say he didn’t know and made a case for it,” DeCourcy said during a speech at the Louisville Quarterback Club Tuesday. “If it was a recruiting scheme, it was the dumbest of all time. If you are going to cheat, you try to keep a small circle. The more who know, the more who can bust you. Rick Pitino is a brilliant guy. No way in my mind did he sign off on that (strippers for players). But there is only so much you cannot know (in regard to the more recent FBI probe).”

    DeCourcy said Pitino’s job after the stripper revelations was to make sure “everything was done right and hire impeccable people” in the basketball program.

    “I hated to see what happened to him and the program, but I could not stand and say what happened to him was not correct,” DeCourcy said. “There is only so much you can say that you did not know happened.”

    DeCourcy has been surprised by the interest and passion there is for coaching at Louisville despite the scandal. He says “excellent coaches” will be interested in the job now filled by interim coach David Padgett.

    Will Pitino, who led UK to the 1996 national title, ever coach again after being fired at Louisville?

    “I think some of it depends on how these next few months play out. The idea that all this could go through a court of law (in a lawsuit filed by Pitino) could be good for him if he comes out clean on the other side,” DeCourcy said.

    “He is an unbelievable coach. At end of day he probably is the best combination of talent developer and strategist there has ever been. People look at that and might think it is hard to pass up. For him, will it be at a glamorous enough place to do it. Does he want to spend the energy he would have to spend to stay on top of everybody? Apparently he didn’t at Louisville.”

    What about the NBA?

    DeCourcy cannot see a situation like Pitino had when he was coach of the Boston Celtics and ran the franchise before he was fired after leaving UK and came back then to Louisville.

    “He might just coach (in the NBA). There’s just not 30 better coaches than him. There are not five better,” the Sporting News columnist said.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Doc's Avatar
      Doc -
      It has survived far bigger scandals.
    1. Krank's Avatar
      Krank -
      Quote Originally Posted by Darrell KSR View Post
      By LARRY VAUGHT

      LOUISVILLE — could cost the Cards their 2012 national championship banner.
      Kentucky won the title in 2012.

      Just thought I would let y'all know with the hope that anything that goes to press can be corrected if in time.
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