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Pitino closes door:

Pitino closes door:

Rick Pitino left no doubt on Wednesday, saying “I’m finished coaching” during an appearance on ESPN’s “Get Up.”

The former Louisville coach is making the rounds promoting his new book, “Pitino: My Story.” He had written in the book that his “coaching career is possibly finished.”

It’s been nearly a year since an FBI investigation into college basketball led to his termination at Louisville. He maintained Wednesday that he was unaware that Adidas allegedly paid $100,000 to the family of five-star prospect Brian Bowen to steer him to Louisville.

Pitino said he took and passed a lie detector test.

“I passed, saying I knew nothing about any money given to anybody,” Pitino said. “I knew nothing about Adidas doing anything.”

He said he was also unaware that former staffer Andre McGee was holding parties in a dormitory, where he provided strippers for players and recruits.

“Why would someone making a lot of money as a head coach allow those actions to happen?” Pitino said on “Get Up.” “And ruin his program, and ruin his legacy? It lacks common sense for anybody to believe that.”

Pitino was asked if he accepts that the buck stops with the coach when a program has problems.

“The fact that I’m not coaching, the love of my life outside of my family, the fact that I lost basketball — eat, sleep and drink from 5:30 in the morning until late at night, I eat, drink and sleep the game — that’s my penalty,” Pitino said. “The buck did stop with me. I’m out of work.”

Pitino won two national championships as a coach — in 1996 with Kentucky and in 2013 with Louisville. The latter was vacated. He’s a Hall of Famer who also coached Boston University and Providence, as well as the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. A return to the NBA is out as well.

“No, I wrote this book for closure for me and my family to the game,” Pitino said. “I love the game. I still eat, sleep and drink it. I watch every minute of it. I watch your show. I can’t get enough of it. But I’m not going to coach again. It’s been too painful the last three years — the pain of a lifetime.


“I’ll look back at the memories that are in that book and say, ‘You know what, I’ve had a blessed life.'”

Part of why he’s ruled out a return to the college ranks is because of what it would mean to any school that tried to hire him.

“I’m defending myself now,” he said. “A school doesn’t have to have the right to hire me, [and] they should look at my full-court press, my matchup zone, my offenses, my motion offenses. They shouldn’t have to answer questions about this. It’s not fair to the school that would hire me to have to go through that. So let’s put closure on a career — from the days of growing up here in New York and the Knicks.”

Pitino said he will now go around speaking to college basketball teams, offering his perspective after 40 years of coaching. But he won’t be picking up the whistle and rolling out the basketballs.

“My days of putting on my gym shorts and trying to get people better are over,” he said.

Pitino’s court battle isn’t over, however, as he’s still has a wrongful termination lawsuit pending against Louisville, and the school has countersued.

In a court filing in U.S. District Court in Louisville on Tuesday, Pitino’s attorneys asked a federal judge to quash a subpoena sent to former FBI agent Carl Christiansen, who was hired by Pitino’s attorneys as a private investigator as part of his wrongful termination lawsuit against the school. Pitino’s attorneys argued that Christiansen’s investigative materials are work product and aren’t subject to a subpoena.

The subpoena requested Christiansen’s materials related to his investigations of the Louisville escort scandal and an ongoing FBI investigation into bribes and other corruption in college basketball. The subpoena also sought Christiansen’s communication with several people, including former Cardinals staff members, Bowen and his parents, and Christian Dawkins, James Gatto, Munish Sood and Merl Code, who are defendants in three federal cases related to corruption.

ESPN’s Mark Schlabach contributed to this report.


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