Rick Pitino - Head Men's Basketball Coach of the Louisville Cardinals

Rick Pitino - Louisville Cardinals Mens Basketball


Coach Pitino - Louisville Cardinals Official Website Install

Rick Pitino - Louisville Kentucky

Someone just mentioned to me the other day that if Mike Tranghese was still at the helm, this BIG EAST break up would never have happened. Nonsense. Let’s remember that Mike was at the helm when Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami (FL) departed.

Let’s get to the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. If my information is correct, the ACC, namely certain basketball coaches, did not like the amount of exposure BIG EAST basketball was getting nationally and the amount of tournament teams selected the past couple of seasons. Their feelings were made known at conference meetings. Now true or untrue, you can’t tell me that Pitt and Syracuse are making ACC football significantly better. In the last few years, they have laid off more football staff coaches than Bank of America did with its employees last week. Obviously this is an exaggeration,  but let’s take a step back.

The leadership of Pittsburgh and the affiliation of head coach Jamie Dixon are major reasons Texas Christian joined the BIG EAST.  Distance questionable, but an extremely good move football-wise.  Before their bodies were warm, they pulled a dixie to the ACC.  So let’s not cast blame on any one person. BIG EAST basketball became too strong and certain factions didn’t like that fact. Remember, the ACC had that reputation and dominance in basketball for years.

Let’s get to the bottom line of what needs to be done and get back to somewhat of Dave Gavitt’s vision: to have strong athletic programs in major media markets.  The Mission can still be accomplished.

There are obvious problems that still exist and solutions are necessary.


We are not taking into strong consideration what women’s sports and certain men’s sports will endure with all these conference realignments. Unlike football and men’s basketball programs, these teams do not fly private charters to their games.  So including Texas and other states west of the Mississippi, this poses a major travel problem with teams having 7 or 8 hours connecting flights if not delayed. The same is true for west schools traveling east. These athletes deserve better treatment athletically and academically. Before everyone gets carried away with mega football conferences, they must realize the incredible turmoil that non football and men’s basketball athletes will go through in their athletic as well as academic lives. All of these sports will be greatly affected by this difficult geographic alignment.


1)     Presidents are the leaders of our Universities. They are well schooled in budgets, fundraising, research, and in all specific areas that make universities run as a successful machine. They should approve and have final say on everything.  However, when it comes to athletics, they should defer strongly to their conference commissioner and their athletic director.

2)     Let the commissioner lead and support him. If some university thinks the grass is greener, let them move on, pay their penance, and find out the truth.  There is a laundry list of great universities wanting to be a part of the BIG EAST and that's the attitude we need in our conference.

3)     Admit Temple immediately. They have a highly competitive football program with outstanding basketball tradition.  They are a past BIG EAST member and an excellent school academically. And as all my friends say in Philadelphia, they are located in BIG EAST territory.

4)     Offer Air Force, Navy, and Army to join in football only.

5)     Location, Location, Location.  We are far enough (Louisville) to be part of the BIG EAST. Let’s think of all of our other sports from this point on and make them a priority.

6)     Sit down with Villanova and ask them to make a major commitment to football.

7)     Do not sit down at a conference table with people already meeting with their divorce lawyer at the bargaining table - which means trust the commissioner and let him do his job. If he does not get it done, then it falls in his lap and he pays the consequence. I have known this commissioner since he was 24 years of age. He is extremely bright and knows the BIG EAST and their dealings better than anyone we can deal with at this point in time.

8)     Although we will miss Syracuse and Pitt, the other powers in the BIG EAST will more than uphold our reputation to be one of America’s best conferences.

Since Louisville joined the BIG EAST in the 2005-2006 season, you may want to take a look at the most championships won by all of our athletic teams!

School                            Total

1.    Notre Dame             56

2.    Louisville                  40

3.    Connecticut             34

4.    Syracuse                    17

5.    Georgetown             12

6.    West Virginia          11

7.    St. John’s                    11

8.    Villanova                    6

9.    Cincinnati                  5

        DePaul                        5

        USF                             5

12. Marquette                   3

        Pittsburgh                  3

        Providence                3

        Rutgers                       3

16. Seton Hall                   1


It is time for us to act and get back to upholding Dave Gavitt’s dreams and vision.


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Coach Pitino - Louisville Cardinals State of Kentucky

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