Louisville coach Rick Pitino thinks that Pittsburgh and Syracuse acted too quickly in deciding to leave the Big East for the ACC after a long history with the conference.
My problem is not them leaving, Pitino said. My problem is you did it in 36-48 hours. Don't run away with a girl after one date to get married in Las Vegas when you've been dating someone else for three or four years. You've been dating this woman for 30 years, show a little respect.
Pitino, ironically enough, admitted in 2010 to cheating on his wife of close to 30 years with a woman he had just met at a Louisville area restaurant. Pitino would give the woman $3,000 dollars for an abortion after allegedly getting her pregnant, but fought against the woman's rape allegations.
In addition to a weird analogy that directly applied to his own life, Pitino told reporters at the Big East's basketball media day in New York City that the ACC's invites to Pittsburgh and Syracuse were purely basketball-related.
This was a basketball move taking Pittsburgh and Syracuse, it was not a football move, Pitino said. They (ACC) wanted to get back to what we remember, 15-20 years ago, growing up a college basketball fan, the ACC was dominant. They don't like the fact that the Big East has been the premier basketball conference.
Both Pittsburgh and Syracuse have extremely strong basketball programs, but have struggled of late in the football department. Both have strong football histories -- Pittsburgh has Dan Marino and Syracuse has Jim Brown -- but poor coaching hires have caused struggles for both.
Pitino's assessment of the ACC's expansion with Pittsburgh and Syracuse brought mixed responses at the New York Athletic Club on Wednesday.
Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard agreed that the ACC's moves show that football isn't the only force driving conference realignment talks.
But Georgetown coach John Thompson III and West Virginia coach Bob Huggins both felt that football was the major factor, especially the money involved with the sports.
I'm a basketball coach and football and television are driving a lot of the decisions, Thompson said. I have less control over things.
Pitino wasn't quite sold on the money thing, though, particularly questioning just how much money schools could even make moving to another conference.
Boston College has one of the premier ADs in the country in Geno DeFilippo, in my opinion, Pitino said. I worked with the man at Kentucky. So you can get $2 million more by joining the ACC? Boston College, which probably has an endowment close to a $1 billion, is going to worry about $ 2 million more? Boston College has won one championship since joining the ACC and that was in soccer. Louisville has won 40 championships since joining the Big East.
This isn't the first time that Pitino has made controversial remarks about conference realignment. In late September, Pitino compared Pittsburgh moving to the ACC to Sal Tessio betraying the Corleone family in The Godfather.
The Godfather told Michael that the one who comes to set up the meeting will be the one who betrays the family, Pitino wrote on his blog. Robert Duval, as Tom Hagen the consigliere (sic), thought it would be Clemenza who would be the one. Instead, it was good old Abe Pagoda (sic) as Salvatore Tessio. Michael Corleone's response to Tom was the answer to why Pittsburgh and Syracuse would make the move. His response: it was the smart move.