Syracuse has had its own well-documented problems with the NCAA. As a fan in college athletics, it’s impossible to sit in an Ivory Tower and suggest that all the other schools are breaking the rules and yours isn’t. We’ve seen it all. Hell, even Harvard had a cheating scandal. But watching Louisville try to throw punches at the wind is hysterical.
Not only does Louisville employ two of the least trustworthy coaches in the nation, the school seems to think it’s a sanctuary of piousness. Bobby Petrino, he of the affair, the motorcycle accident, the road rash, the neck brace, the humiliation, the quitting the Falcons mid-season by leaving letters in the locker? He might be more trustworthy than Slick Rick Pitino.
Pitino is aghast the NCAA found his program guilty of organizing and paying for prostitution for his recruits. Look Rick, this is real easy. Your recruits were involved in shady practices on campus. Your assistant coach set that up. Either you knew and you deserve to be punished (with vacating wins, limiting scholarships, a 5-game suspension, years of probation, a postseason ban, and pulling down banners), or you didn’t want to know.
Whichever it was, your program is going to have to pay the price. There are all types of slippery slopes when it comes to college athletics. UNLV has had an eye on it because of its location in Vegas. Syracuse and the Carrier Dome have to have a very transparent relationship with Turning Stone Casino. There’s nothing illegal about gambling in sanctioned places or online (try their casino games). The NCAA just always needs to draw that line. NCAA tournament sites have taken down arena advertising for games. But one thing we know: you can’t pay for strippers for your players.
Here’s how Pete Thamel of SI described it: Pitino came off as indignant and lacking some self-awareness in a press conference on Thursday. His lawyer released a statement saying the finding against Pitino ‘is one of the weakest I’ve ever seen against a head coach.’ Pitino called the punishments ‘over-the-top severe’ and added: ‘Personally I’ve lost a lot of faith in the NCAA that I’ve had over the last 35 years.’
Please. Classic case of trying to blame the accuser, which is a Pitino staple at this point. The guy who was roped into a grisly marital affair of his own, and then lectured the members of the Big East for leaving the league (only to jump at the chance of joining). The fact Louisville wants to appeal, and Pitino is yelling about how unfair the punishment is just makes it worse. Give it a rest Cardinals. You’re only making yourselves look dumber.