Rick Pitino hasn’t been able to find another college coaching job since he was fired over the Louisville corruption scandal. And he doesn’t think he’s likely to get another one again.
Pitino’s memoir, “Pitino: My Story” was released on Tuesday, and according to Jeff Borzello of ESPN, Pitino addresses his future coaching prospects as such: “my coaching career is possibly finished.”
“Possibly” isn’t the most final word he could have used. It implies that Pitino is leaving the door open, and he thinks he may have a chance to coach college basketball somewhere at some point in the future. So ESPN reached out to Pitino, who is in the middle of a media blitz to promote his memoir. This time, he didn’t hedge quite as much.
“There was one job this past year, that I really did want. They called the NCAA and the NCAA said, ‘We’re handcuffed. The FBI will not allow us to investigate, we can’t give you a yes or no on Rick Pitino because we’re not allowed to investigate,'” Pitino said. “I’m not really thinking about coaching again in the future because I’m not in control of that. I feel it’s over for me.”
The NCAA not allowing schools to hire him is a pretty good reason for him to think his career is “possibly” over. He’s not in control, because the only way the NCAA will allow Pitino to be hired is if they investigate, and the FBI is currently preventing that from happening.
Aside from that one job he said he wanted, Pitino told The Athletic that he was offered coaching positions at two different schools this past spring, but he wasn’t jazzed about either and turned them down. He’s reached the pinnacle of college coaching, and knows there isn’t much left to accomplish.
“I’ve been in seven Final Fours. What am I trying to do, get an eighth?” he says with a shrug. “What am I looking for? To go on the road and have people yell obscenities about things that aren’t true?”
Pitino’s son Richard, who coaches at Minnesota, told The Athletic that he hopes his dad isn’t finished with coaching, simply because he’s so talented at it. But the elder Pitino knows the score.
“I don’t think you write a memoir if you’re going to coach again,” he says. “It’s a sad end.”
He’s got a point. But while the release of a memoir might signal to some that Pitino’s career is over, for Pitino it seems like it’s a way to take back a little bit of control. While he still can’t control his situation, his memoir is helping him control something just as important: the narrative.
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