Apparently there's some truth to the message board chatter that Louisville fans have been brushing off for the last couple of weeks, as ESPN's Pat Forde is reporting that Rick Pitino met with Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan in Bloomington on Monday afternoon, and cites a source close to Pitino as saying that he is "leaning towards" taking the job.
This news comes just two days after Washington State head coach Tony Bennett turned down the IU job, and just three days after Pitino's Cardinals lost to North Carolina in the Elite Eight.
Even at age 55, it's easy to see why a program like Indiana would view Pitino as an appealing choice. Not only is he the only coach in NCAA history to take three different schools to the Final Four, but he's thrived in rebuilding situations, and revived a Kentucky program mired in probation (a situation whoever takes the Indiana job will likely inherit).
What's less clear to me is why Pitino would view Indiana as an appealing choice. Sure, it'd be another opportunity to prove his genius, but it's unlikely that he'd see a significant increase in pay, he'd be going from the Big East to the Big Ten, and he'd be moving away from his horses and the state that his family loves. The whole thing just doesn't make any sense to me.
Forde didn't say whether or not a timeline had been set for Pitino to make a decision, but he did say that today is April Fool's Day, and that Mike Rutherford of CardChronicle.com had made every word of this post up.
If you didn't catch this one when you saw the title, then I'm ordering you to eat one of those KFC "Famous Bowls" for lunch. And now I'm throwing the following out there just for people who saw the title and skipped down to the last line.
Obviously, we'll have more on this as it develops throughout the day.