(Not So) Slick Rick

If this basketball thing doesn’t work out, Rick Pitino ought to try politics – he already makes similar “indiscretions” as politicians. As most of the world now knows, the married father of five had a little “indiscretion” a few years ago involving having sex with a woman in a restaurant, getting her pregnant, paying her money so she could get health insurance to get an abortion and then having the woman try to extort him and accuse him of rape. This is about as sleazy as you can get – not only did he cheat on his wife, he did so in a public place, without thoughts of birth control, and then, whether directly or not, helped aid the woman in getting an abortion. Despite all of this, his bosses at Louisville stand behind him and call him a role model and positive influence.

Am I missing something here? I try to be a compassionate, forgiving man. People do deserve second chances. But people don’t always deserve to keep their jobs after incidents like this. Pitino has proved that he is NOT a role model or a positive influence. And because of this, Louisville needs to remove him as their head coach immediately. The highest paid public official in the state of Kentucky (until Coach Calipari came on the scene) and supposed “leader of young men” needs to be held to higher standards than the rest of us. And Pitino has proven not to meet these standards by any stretch of the imagination.

Similar cases have occurred with players, and their school didn’t hesitate to chase them out of town immediately. So why shouldn’t a paid employee of a university – the face of the school no less – be treated the same way. Not only is Pitino the face of the university, he is the person responsible for molding, supervising and coaching teenage kids. He’s the one that is supposed to show them the way and help turn them from kids into adults. Additionally, many of the kids that end up on his team come from backgrounds lacking good role models (especially male ones), so that makes Pitino’s role even more important. After this scandal has come to light, can you really trust Rick Pitino to teach his players the difference between right and wrong?

If a professor or the university president were caught up in the same type of scandal, do you think that the school would look the other way? Of course not, because those positions don’t pull in money for the university like Pitino does. Now don’t get things confused – this is all about money. The school will say all the right things about second chances and Pitino admitting to his “indiscretion” but the fact of the matter is they will keep him around because he recruits good players, which subsequently makes the team competitive, which subsequently makes the university tons of dough.

And that is just plain wrong. Pitino might honestly be sorry, but he still has to go. Louisville needs to make a stand that winning and losing and making money is not more important than providing a positive atmosphere for its “student-athletes”. If Pitino is truly a role model and positive influence than he should prove it by stepping down – not due to moral reasons but due to the grief, embarrassment and distraction he has caused his players and his employer. If he’s not willing to exit, Louisville needs to show him the way to the door. One way or another, Slick Rick The Ruler’s reign in Louisville needs to end.

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