Wow, guys, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to come out and just be so blunt in the headline, there. But let’s be honest: that headline is also the absolute truth. I’ve talked about what I viewed as hypocrisy from the ESPN Radio morning team in the past, when Syracuse and Jim Boeheim first got into hot water with the NCAA, but things have taken a turn today.
For those who may not be aware, this morning Mike and Mike welcomed Rick Pitino to their show for a Skype interview – which is creepy enough as is, considering there was probably a 50/50 chance he’d pop up on screen sans pants. I mean, this is Rick Pitino we’re talking about.
In what Bill Simmons has already pointed out as the very definition of a kid glove interview with the Louisville head coach, after the interview concluded, the two Mikes decided that they had to give Pitino the benefit of the doubt. There was simply no way he actually knew about the hooker parties being thrown for Louisville’s recruits by former graduate assistant Andre McGee.
That’s what Mike and Mike were saying, anyway. How could a coach know what was going on with something of this magnitude, and allow it to happen? I mean, Rick Pitino is a moral man who would never allow such things! After all, if he were actually aware of what was happening, he’d have been fired already!
What a crock of shit, is my basic response.
Last year, when news came out that a lengthy NCAA investigation had revealed that one player received undue help with, basically, one paper and that a few players had done an internship at a YMCA in Oneida and had been compensated, Mike and Mike quickly took to the airwaves and said that there’s no way Jim Boeheim wouldn’t know everything going on within his program. I’m not making that up, either – go back and listen if you want, they very literally said that Boeheim should know every detail about what was happening.
Never mind the fact that a decade-long investigation revealed virtually no infractions, and the ones it revealed could in no way be tied directly to Boeheim or any of his assistants. That wasn’t enough for the Mikes to give Boeheim the benefit of the doubt.
But when Pitino’s graduate assistant is hosting recruits and providing them with strippers and prostitutes, that’s not within the scope of things Pitino should know are going on. That’s according to Mike and Mike, who repeatedly said this morning they believed that Pitino was truly unaware that this was all happening.
Which raises more than a few questions, such as, if Pitino didn’t know about these sex parties for his recruits, who the hell was footing the bill? Graduate assistants don’t make jack shit, and I don’t believe there’s any way that McGee could have possibly paid for what appear to have been numerous hooker parties while he was on staff. McGee played one year of professional ball in Germany, which doesn’t exactly amount to enough spare cash to just be throwing it at a half dozen strippers and hookers every weekend.
Honestly, I think what drives me insane here is just the utter hypocrisy of Pitino being given a free pass when he says that there were people in place to take care of recruits in the right way, and because of this he let them handle it, but Boeheim was taken to task for saying virtually the same thing when it came to academic people being in place to guide Fab Melo through his educational struggles. It was literally a member of Pitino’s staff plying recruits with hookers, but that’s not something that Pitino should be aware of, according to Mike and Mike. But Fab Melo gets one paper massaged by someone who doesn’t really work directly for Boeheim, and that falls under the umbrella of “things Boeheim should have known.”
At the end of the day, I’m just ranting here. Pitino is full of shit, and the treatment he’s gotten so far is just absurdly soft and overly forgiving compared to what Boeheim endured, and that pisses me off. There’s no way around it, Syracuse got screwed by the NCAA and I’m sure people like Jay Bilas will still happily defend that position, as well. But somehow, amazingly, Rick Pitino can oversee a program wherein 17 year old kids are treated to hookers on their weekend visits to Louisville, and talking heads like Mike and Mike simply sweep it aside, placing none of the blame on Pitino himself.
You can’t have it both ways. If Jim Boeheim should have known that a couple players were being slipped a few bucks at a YMCA in Oneida, then why the hell should we excuse Pitino for being “unaware” that players he was hosting on weekend recruiting trips were being supplied with strippers and hookers right on the Louisville campus?