BRISTOL, Conn. (AP) — Geno Auriemma thinks Rick Pitino should get another chance to coach and that he’s already suffered enough by losing his job at Louisville.
“There are people running for office and winning that have been accused of a lot worse who are given another chance,” Auriemma said on Thursday at ESPN during women’s basketball national media day. “As far as I’m concerned he’s already served his punishment. He lost one of the best jobs in the history of college basketball.”
Auriemma originally said on Barstool Sports podcast “Pardon My Take” Wednesday that he’d hire Pitino if he had a job opening. UConn’s Hall of Fame coach clarified that remark Thursday saying he would hire him for a pro job.
“If I took a pro job, I can’t think of anyone better,” Auriemma said. “And no one would care at that level.”
Pitino was fired from Louisville, a job he’s held since 2001, after the University of Louisville Athletic Association voted unanimously to fire him last month, despite arguments from lawyers that Pitino had no knowledge of activities alleged in an FBI investigation regarding fraud and corruption in recruiting.
The 65-year-old Pitino also coached Kentucky, Providence and Boston University in college and the Celtics and Knicks in the NBA.
When asked if he’d hire Pitino to work for him at Connecticut, Auriemma laughed.
“There’s no room. Only one Italian,” he said. “I still go by the Constitution. One man, one vote. I’m the man and I get the vote. End of story.”