This really shouldn't come as much surprise since Jurich has made a habit of quickly taking a stand whenever something like this begins to fester. Still, the fact that he's actually having to make statements defending Pitino speaks far louder than any of his particular quotes.
"Rick Pitino is my coach," Jurich said in his Freedom Hall suite right after the Cardinals' 61-49 loss to Kentucky on Saturday. "I know people are asking. Quote me on this: He is the coach here for as long as he wants to be. Period.
"He resurrected this program. People don't realize, they forget how far down we were. I don't care if he has to rebuild this thing all over again, he's the coach."
We agree with Crawford that Jurich is doing the right thing here. Pitino really is the only hook this team has, sans the occasional T-Will dunk against Hickory High. ESPN doesn't televise Louisville/Seton Hall for Andre McGee, they televise it because the only coach ever to take three different schools to the final four is going to be there, and he's probably going to be wearing a nice suit.
Pitino leads the nation in getting the nod for the halftime interview even when his team is losing. South Florida could be up on Louisville by 43 at the break and Robert McCullum would still be able to make the trip from the bench to the locker room without Doris Burke impeding his progress.
Still, he's been here six years and, to summarize the 85 different conversations I had Saturday night, "Dude, we suck." Even Pitino won't be able to hide if the Cards end up losing 13 or 14 games this season, a scenario that appears more and more likely with every passing minute his team spends on the court. People outside of the commonwealth are beginning to take notice of this situation, and a sizeable amount of scrutiny from the national media doesn't sit well with someone with an ego the size of Pitino's.
Even if Rick doesn't deserve the ax, the "Pitino Speak" has got to go. Unless of course his intention is to make people stop listening to anything and everything he says because they have no idea what to believe anymore, in which case bravo sir. We'd talk more about this, but we'll let Crawford deliver what is likely our favorite line of his to date (The whole column is pretty sweet, you should check it out. He like talks to people and stuff before he starts writing):
And he's right, we are a society that expects instant results. Then again, you don't see too many microwaveable products with instructions that read: Remove outer wrapper, cover, heat on high for six years.