Louisville Cardinals coach Rick Pitino has been around the block a time or two. Known for his grandiose nature as much for his recruiting ability, Pitino has been one of the biggest names in coaching for decades. Even with the college game changing with every blink of the eye, Pitino has adapted — even if he doesn’t like what he is seeing going around.
The one-and=done rule is no different for Pitino. While still fairly new, Pitino has seen the rule being used to some programs’ advantage, but doesn’t use it as a primary recruiting tool while trying to scoop up commitments.
In a phone interview with the Courier-Journal, Pitino expressed some of his feelings about the rule and how it has not changed the way he goes about business, saying “I go in and recruit the young man and if he asks me how I would feel about it, I say, ‘If you’re good enough, that’s up to the pros, go ahead and do it.’ I don’t talk about it. I don’t look at it. One of the things I enjoy is building relationships with guys, and I don’t want to get to know them for seven months and they move on because I never get to know them.”
Seems reasonable enough. Recruit the player for the person, not use a pitch of future earnings in the pros to lure the athlete under potentially false pretenses.
Pitino was not giving these answers out of the goodness of his heart. While some will automatically assume he was taking backhanded shots at John Calipari, Pitino was nearly answering questions that were asked to him. Each coach, like each person, has a different philosophy on how they go about doing their jobs or their daily routines.
Most folks think the one-and-done rule is broken. The canter Pitino provided is only good to help figure out what is wrong, if anything, about the rule itself. Discussion on such topics will inevitably help the game of college basketball get better as time goes on.
Don’t think of Pitino’s quotes as sour grapes or shots at Calipari — think of them as a man being honest about a rule he isn’t really high on. Without opinions, things would never change.