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The Orion

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The Orion

I Piti’ the Cardinals

Patrick Pace, sports reporter Photo credit: Cam Lesslie

Louisville men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino should not be fired. The Louisville basketball team as a whole should not be punished for the actions of an assistant coach who is no longer with the school.

In a book titled “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” published in October 2015, it was alleged that former Louisville basketball assistant coach Andre McGee had hired strippers for recruits who came to visit the campus. It is said that many of these recruits, some of them minors, even had sexual relations with these women.

I’m not saying that this is right by any means. In fact it’s a horrible recruiting tactic. However, it’s alleged that many of the big programs do this, or something similar to it.

Allegedly, many of the top basketball schools have gorgeous women give recruits a tour of the school and take them to parties. Many of them don’t go as far as to hire escorts, but it has been reported that assistants take some players to strip clubs and things of that nature.

Again, the thought that many people do it does not make it an acceptable practice. However, the actions of a former assistant coach affected the group of young men who play basketball for the University of Louisville today.

Louisville recently announced that the basketball team will immediately undergo a one year ban from the postseason.

Fifth year guard Damion Lee, a transfer from Drexel University, averages 16.7 points per game on this year’s Louisville team. He really could have used the postseason to showcase his talent in the hopes of making it into the NBA next year. Him and fellow transfer guard Trey Lewis will never get a chance to play in “The Big Dance.”

These two are players who committed to play at Louisville after Andre McGee left and have nothing to do with the scandal. Because of the actions of one man, an entire program is suffering.

Pitino should have to suffer the consequences of this scandal. However, since there is nothing that truly connects him, he should not be fired.

It’s true that it is his job as the head coach of the team to be involved with everything, especially new recruits. Even if he did not know about it, the fact that this happened with him as the head of the program should result in him receiving some form of punishment.

There are many ways to go about doing this. For example, he could have been suspended for a number of games, or he could have been fined a significant amount of money. Instead, him and the rest of the team have to miss the postseason.

However, the players are the most affected, and that is just not fair.

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @PatPaceSports on Twitter.

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