Opinion: Pitino’s absence not the move of a coward

By on November 4, 2015

By Jansen Myers–

I commonly make the mistake of looking through Twitter replies every single time ESPN posts a new story on the Louisville basketball scandal.

As a Louisville fan, the ignorance of the general public on social media is so bad it almost makes me laugh.  People really need to learn to read the details before making a comment.

Anyways, a recent news story revealed the ignorance of the sports-watching public even more.

You may have noticed the absence of one of the conference’s most well-known coaches last week at the annual ACC media day for the upcoming basketball season.  Rick Pitino was not in attendance.

The only representatives from Louisville were the two graduate transfers, Damion Lee and Trey Lewis.  The reason for Pitino’s absence had to do with a recurring theme from the coverage of this scandal-media silence.

The legal counsel for the University of Louisville recommended that Coach Pitino stay home from the annual festivities in order to adequately be able to offer no comment on the ongoing investigation.  This was a smart move.

Everybody knew the media circus and the unending questions that Pitino would face at this year’s media day, and I can guarantee that few, if any of the questions would have to do with our up and coming freshman or how the Cardinals would fare in a dangerous ACC this year.

Almost every single question directed to the Cards coach would have to do with if he knew about the scandal, if Andre McGee would speak on the matter, if Katina Powell’s allegations were credible, etc.  As everybody knows, no comment can be offered on an ongoing NCAA investigation.

So why on earth would Pitino attend the media day event?  Only bad could’ve come from Coach P attending the event.  No one wants to hear “no comment” to every question in a press conference, and this also saves Pitino from potentially incriminating himself or the university.

Most Louisville fans know that Rick is not afraid to say what’s on his mind.  Numerous times in the past, Pitino has not hesitated to give honest feedback on his players, the fans, or various other situations involving the Cardinals basketball team.

So why are these Twitter users replying that our coach is a coward?

Why are they saying he has no spine, and that this move means that the allegations are true?  The decision to not attend was not even his call!

This decision was one made by legal experts in coordination with the University of Louisville.

In fact, I would not be shocked if Pitino had every intention of intending the media day and saying what he wanted to say.

But this decision was an intelligent one made with the advice of legal counsel, and was even supported by ACC league commissioner John Swofford.

This was not a cowardly move.

This was an move that was advised by an outside source with every intention of protecting all involved parties.

So when you reply to ESPN on Twitter and accuse Rick Pitino of being a coward with no spine, and accuse him of sending his players to speak for him because he was scared of the heat he would take, think again.

This absolutely was not the case.  I should choose to ignore posts on Twitter because anybody can comment on these matters and give their usually wrong statements, but recently it has become increasingly difficult to ignore them.

So next time, before you post on Twitter, please take the time to actually read into the details before forming an opinion.  You never know what you may have missed.

About Jansen Myers


  1. Henry Poston

    November 4, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    I understand your frustration, but at this point the allegations have been partially substantiated by recruits and some of U of L’s own players. The only real question left is how much, if anything did the coach know. “No comment” is a time honored tradition. If Roy Williams and Jim Boeheim can stand up and take their medicine with their scandals, why should Rick get a pass? It did look very cowardly for Pitino (on the advice of council) to duck the question and send two first year kids to the event. I agree that it was smart, but it was also cowardly. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    • Brian

      November 4, 2015 at 11:13 pm

      Problem, is, he’s spoken on numerous occasions to numerous sources. What makes you angry is that he didn’t further the spectacle. Contrary to your response, adding to the spectacle is easier than letting due process run it’s course.

  2. Jack Klompis

    November 4, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I don’t believe at all that Pitino wanted to go , but his lawyers told him not to. Pitino chickened out on his own and merely used the excuse of “on my attorney’s advice…” Rick and whole bunch of others will be in deep doodoo over this very soon.

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