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Sports in Kentucky

Pitino's 'scandal'


 

 

Confessions, concessions, remorse and apologies.

Never mind. Soon enough a new wave of stupidity-turned-lawyer spin will move the names of Rick Pitino and Michael Vick off front pages, off ESPN’s screen roll and off a Letterman punch line list.

Troubling, Pitino’s sexual affair, but I am not among those stepping onto ivory tower balconies calling for him to resign, be fired or hanged in effigy. He knows his demons. We know ours.

Puritans among national newspaper columnists on what Pitino should do, can be taken with a wink and snicker.

Many are the same wags who wanted Marv Albert’s hair piece embroidered back on (without anesthetic); wanted Bob Knight handed over to a mob for women’s rights; and wanted Billy Packer’s mouth sewn shut at center court in Rupp Arena.

All survived, all became more famous, more rich, more successful.

And so, the world turns and there are things we can still count on …

Pitino gave talk radio a ratings boost and bridge to college football.

A University of Louisville trustee whispering “Pitino isn’t going anywhere. He’s our cash cow. We’ve got a new arena to fill next year.”

Steve Kragthorpe has a bit of peace before what could be his Waterloo. And yes, had he stepped over the same line Pitino did, Kragthorpe would be unemployed today.

If Richie Farmer runs for governor any time soon, he won’t be asking for an endorsement from his old coach.

Porcini’s Restaurant owner will advertise once or a lot. Once: Closed for cleaning. A lot: “Yes! This is where it happened!”

If there was an argument before, there is none now, the Commonwealth has a new King Midas. Cal.

And, don’t look for any hardware store teevee commercials featuring King Cal and that other guy.

Pro Life organizations have a new poster boy … with diagonal red line across his picture.

Tom Jurich supporting his ball coach one million per cent makes clear what fuzzy math neighborhood his mind operates in.

When Kentucky Person of the Year in Sports ballot comes out next, a fixture name in years past, won’t be on it.

Moralist writers Chicago to Miami who use Basketball Mom, “… would you want your son to play for this guy?” apparently forgot to ask a single mother with a 6-9, 250-pound 18-year-old prodigy to feed, clothe and control.

In today’s value system, she would blink and reply, “Are you kidding? If he can get my kid to The League one-and-done, show me where to sign!”

When snow flies again and UofL’s team travels to the Carrierdome, the Garden or Storrs, no crowd will be more gracious to Pitino than one at Rupp Arena. Right?

Karen Sypher’s 15 minutes of fame will be remembered worth less than $3,000-worth, and more as 30 pieces of silver.

Somebody will quote irony from Pitino’s Success is a Choice. (blush)

“I want my players to live in the precious present,” he said. “And I want to live there too. To both coach and live like every day is my last, not taking anything for granted.”

Starting today.

Being humbled, even humiliated by one’s own words, accomplishes more than feed the hyenas. A pause for an AlexRodriquez Moment, or Pete Rose or Vick can be a good thing for Pitino. A blunt force reminder that all the money, all the celebrity, and gold-braided friends, and Final Fours and privilege, are still a zillion 3-bombs short of Life’s best stuff.

And finally …

Even after a Tectonic earth shift, there is the good life. A sex scandled governor yesterday is today’s college president. Paul Patton at Pikeville.

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