Did Governor of Kentucky play a role in Rick Pitino's dismissal from Louisville?

By Scooby Axson
September 05, 2018

Kentucky governor Matt Bevin responded to former Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino's claim that Bevin was partly responsible for him being fired amid several scandals surrounding his program.

"It's pretty sad, it really is," Bevin said on 84 WHAS radio. "He was a great coach and his life is devolving into this. It's sad."

Pitino spoke with SI Now about his new memoir entitled "Pitino: My Story," which was co-written by Seth Kaufman and released this week. The book covers his time coaching with the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics through his time coaching Kentucky and Louisville.

Pitino says while the book is the truth, there is something he is not 100% sure of.

"I think the governor is behind me being fired at Louisville," he said. "I have many people close to him that say he was after the AD and then wanted you. I can see why people would fire me. I mean two scandals in a four year span...None of it, I'm linked to. But I can see it."

Bevin said Pitino is just trying to blame others. 

"Now he just sounds like a desperate, angry, bitter person who wants to lay blame everywhere but at his own feet, which is where, frankly, so much of it belongs," he said.

Pitino was placed on unpaid administrative leave the day after the FBI announced their charges last September in a corruption scheme involving shoe companies and several assistant college basketball coaches.

He was fired three weeks later after an investigation revealed alleged payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks designed to influence recruits to sign with their schools.

A federal indictment released two months later implicated that Pitino was fully aware of a scheme to pay a high school recruit and also participated in the planning.

Pitino maintains he did nothing wrong.

His program also had to vacate its 2013 NCAA championship amid an escort scandal, the first time in Division I men's basketball history that a championship has been vacated.

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