Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘joanne pitino’

Pitino Apologizes and Commits to Stay at U of L

Posted by frankpos on August 13, 2009

Video link:


I wanted to make a statement, not a prepared statement because I am not good with those things.  But I do want to say the past 7 months have been very difficult on the people I love.  And I made a decision seven months ago because of something I preach to my players for the 30 some odd years I have been coaching.  They’ve heard it once a week for the 30 some odd years and it goes like this.  When you have a problem, if you tell the truth, the problem becomes part of your past, but if you lie it becomes part of your future.  And I made the difficult decision to tell the truth to the federal authorities, the local authorities, to the university officials, and most important the people who love me most, my family and friends.

With that in mind I made a very strong case that I would not, a grand jury indictment is a very serious thing, and I have not commented on that for that reason.  I have not said anything to any of you about any of it.  But I am here today because I personally apologized to my family every single day. They are for all of us, our families, our wife and our children.  Mine in particular, and as yours in particular are, they make the sun rise for me every morning.  They are highly principled people, very strong morally, and very strong fundamentally,  And I let them down with my indiscretion 6 years ago.

And I’m sorry for that, and I told them that every single day.  And I want to tell them more than that, I want to tell my extended family, which is all  my players, recruits that believe in me, families who believe in me, that I am sorry for that indiscretion 6 years ago. And you as professionals who have covered me, for 16 years, I want to apologize to you as professionals for that indiscretion 6 years ago.

There’s two things besides my apology to the university, most in particular Tom Jurich and Dr. Ramsey, who have been very strong with me throughout this period.  My extended family, which is all the fans.  You know, I came here during a very difficult time, when 9/11 hit, you needed a community to get you over it.  In New York City, it was easy, because everybody knew the devastation of that and they got each other over it.

In Louisville, the impact obviously wasn’t felt like New York City but I needed this community to help me get over it.  And the university officials, my friends and loved ones helped me get through this difficult time.  I will continue to cooperate with the authorities as I have with day one.  I believe in the judicial system and I will not comment on that.  I hope that the trial comes quickly and we can do what all of you should have been doing during this time, is celebrating a Big East Championship, a wonderful season where we once again finished in the Elite Eight, with very dedicated players who paid the price to reach that pinnacle.

The second thing I am going to do besides be quiet about the indictment is I plan on accomplishing one thing and it is very very important for me.  I plan on, regardless of how didfuclut a situation this is, to coach here at the University of Louisville for as long as I can physically can maintain the passion I have for the game of basketball, which is still stronger than when I was a head coach at 24 years of age. I love the game, love my players, love this university as well as this community.  I don’t want to coach nowhere else, I don’t believe in anything as much as I believe in this university and this state.  So as long as they will have me, for as long as they’ll have me, I will coach here.I’m not a spring chicken, but I’m certainly not over the hill.  And I intend on recruiting the best athletes, the best people to this program, and go a little further than the past Elite Eight’s for many years to come.

So I thank you as professionals.  I know there are much more pleasant things we would like to talk about.  But, I do want to apologize once again to my loving family, my wife, university officials, as well as the extended family, all my players, and the great fans we have at the University of Louisville.

Here are AD  Tom Jurich’s statement and President Ramsey’s statement on the Louisville Courier Journal site.

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Dancin’ with Pitino

Posted by frankpos on March 9, 2009

Editor’s note:  Two years ago,  I scribbled down this memory.

And now… it’s time to Dance again.


It was 1989.

Same time of year. BBall season was just beginning. Never Nervous was the main man. Denny was at his peak, with 2 newly minted titles, and top ten ratings every autumn.

The Cards even had one of the hottest football coaches in the country in their pocket, too.

Yes, I felt good that night in late October. U of L was at its peak. All was right in Card Nation.

Seemed like a good night for some dancing…


Midnight had come, and Stevie Ray’s was rocking. The dance floor was packed with a knot of happy people at least 3 drinks each into the merriment.

Hey, I was getting my own groove on, nicely greased by the Black Jack and Cokes.

And then… a young (and hot) Joanne Pitino danced her way thru the club and into the mob…leading her grinning (but not dancing) husband and a few of their posse with her.

She settled in next to me and my wife on the dance floor, so Ricky P and I danced a few numbers together, virtually shoulder-to-shoulder.

Remember: 37 yr old RP had just come to UK…he had not coached a game there yet. Obviously, a few of the guys like me knew who he was. But he was just a curiosity…not a celebrity, not even an “enemy’ yet — much less Denny’s master.

No one stared or asked for an autograph, of course. No Armani or other trappings.

Just two thirty-somethings (like me) dancing, smiling, laughing — having fun.

Mind you, there were no Soul Train moves going on . I’d like to say that Coach and Joanne wowed the crowd, but no–just some stiff white- guy dancing… but, hey, he was at least moving with the beat and showed a few moves.

And then… they –and the carefree innocence of that time–were gone.

I would never have guessed when Rick and Joanne drove off to Lexington that night, that it would be 15 long years until another Final Four for the Cards.


Almost 20 years later, I’m still dancing with Pitino.

The relationship has been a stormy one for us both at best over the years. That early curiosity festered into hatred, with his dominance of U of L; there have been great successes and abject failures by both of us along the way.

But, somehow, someway…we managed to find each other again at the end of this song.

And…we’re dancin’

The beat has gotten slower, and our moves are a lot stiffer. That carefree joy and innocence in our step may be gone.

But, we’re dancing.

Ricky P…yeah, he’s showing some good moves still. Maybe some of his best ever.

And, this time he doesn’t have to leave. In fact, he’s staying for a lot more dances.

Yes, it feels good to be dancing with Pitino again…

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