Rick Pitino thinks Connecticut is dumb

Well, he's certainly making sure there's not a sports fan with a pulse who has any doubt about where he stands.

"I almost went to Connecticut, it was Connecticut or UMass," the Louisville coach told SNY.tv during an exclusive interview Tuesday at Hudson Catholic High School. "I remember when they were struggling to win the Yankee Conference. In all of sports, the greatest building job I’ve seen in my life was done at Connecticut. The Big East has taken them from a Yankee Conference school" to where they are now.

"With that being said, how can you want to leave? Why would you want to leave? My biggest mistake I made in my life is when I left Camelot [Kentucky]" to lead the Boston Celtics in 1997. "They’re leaving Camelot. It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of."

...

"Did you ever think that it ever crossed the mind of John Wooden to go into the Atlantic Coast Conference because they were bigger than the Pac-10 when he was winning 11 championships? Pitino asked. "Do you ever think it crossed his mind? No, when you’re great winner, those things don’t cross your mind.

"The only thing that crosses your mind is the ability to win a championship and carry on the great tradition you’ve built. And then you’re going to tell me that Connecticut, which can win a BCS in football, is going to take the opportunity to try and win against Miami and those other people?"

...

"They’re either going to pay more money than the $5 million [exit fee] or they’re staying [until 2014]," Pitino said. "That I can tell you."

He added: ""It was a smart move for [Pittsburgh and Syracuse], in their minds. Syracuse and Pittsburgh’s Presidents want something different. They’re not taking into consideration all the alumni that Syracuse has in the area. Pitt can go if they want, but it makes no sense with Connecticut because of the unbelievable success that Connecticut has had.

"To me, with Connecticut, I think it’s just a ridiculous move."

You can read Adam Zagoria's entire story right here.

For the record, I've always thought the calls for Pitino's job - especially the ones after non-conference losses in November and December - have been ridiculous. He's going to leave this program in far better shape than it was when he got here, and that's all you can ever ask for from a head coach.

With that said, this is all getting quite tired. He's made his point, and now it's time to back away and let this situation play out.

Implying that the Big East is the reason Connecticut basketball stands where it does today makes him sound like the UK fans who constantly maintain that "Kentucky basketball made Rick Pitino successful, not the other way around." It's also worth noting that even though Louisville has been in the Big East for six of his ten seasons here, the only time the Cardinals crashed the Final Four under Pitino came when the program was a member of Conference USA.

Tom Jurich is going to what he thinks is best for U of L athletics, and if opportunity presents itself, I can almost guarantee that will involve making a move to the Big 12.

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