Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Pitino believes there is a strong chance his career as a college basketball coach has reached its conclusion.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Borzello, Pitino wrote in his book, Pitino: My Story, that his “coaching career is possibly finished.”
Pitino was fired as head coach at Louisville last year after allegations that a recruit was bribed to commit to play for the Cardinals.
In an interview with Borzello, Pitino revealed that the NCAA’s inability to investigate him prevented him from potentially landing a coaching job over the past year:
“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.’ 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.”
In his book, Pitino denied any involvement in bribing recruits and said he had no knowledge of former assistant Andre McGee organizing stripper parties for recruits, as alleged by Katina Powell in her 2015 book, Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen.
Pitino did take some responsibility for it happening under his watch, though, writing “the buck stops with me.”
Regarding the FBI probe that alleged a Louisville assistant planned to pay $100,000 to recruit Brian Bowen’s father, Pitino insisted he wasn’t part of the situation:
“I have never discussed illegal recruiting schemes with Adidas or anyone else, ever. So the reason there’s no hard evidence about me plotting to violate recruiting laws is that there is none. Let me say for the thousandth time: in more than thirty years as a college head coach, I have never given any player or their family members a single inducement to play for me. Nor have I ever plotted or suggested doing anything like this.”
The 65-year-old Pitino owns a career collegiate coaching record of 770-271 over 32 seasons at Hawaii, Boston University, Providence, Kentucky and Louisville.
He reached the Final Four on seven occasions, although two were later vacated by Louisville in the wake of Powell’s allegations. The lost wins included Pitino’s second national championship, from the 2012-13 season, leaving him with a single title won in 1996 with Kentucky.