After infractions ruling, Rick Pitino says 'I've personally lost a lot of faith in the NCAA'

Steve Jones
Courier Journal
U of L basketball coach, Rick Pitino, answers questions during a U of L press conference in response to the NCAA's penalties on the men's basketball program. June 15, 2017

Here was the full response from Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino during a press conference about the NCAA Committee on Infractions' report, when asked about the threat of potentially losing the 2013 national title:

"For 35-some-odd years, I've had a lot of faith in the NCAA and have reacted that way accordingly as a head basketball coach - in the belief of their rules. I've thought that in the recent past they've made some great adjustments to the rules that have helped players along the way. I feel now like everybody here that not only is it unjust, unfair, over-the-top severe, but I've personally lost a lot of faith in the NCAA and everything I've stood for in the last 35 years with what they just did.

"Now, that is a committee (that made the ruling). So you can't hold everybody accountable for a committee's decision. So I'm going to put all my faith and all my belief in the appeals committee that they will do the right things for the university, for the players, for everyone else, because we felt we sat down and made some very tough decisions a year ago in imposing those penalties, and it did severely hurt our program. And none of us do not feel extreme remorse for everything that what went on inside that dormitory. We've said that many, many times. But this is over the top. It's to a point where it's not even conceivable what I just read. It's not even conceivable, believable.

"So we have to just put all our trust and faith that the appeals will do the right things in arguing our case because we presented a very strong case. As you probably can see from the lawyer that represented me, not one time were they questioned about a red flag, the enforcement committee. 'What was the red flag you wanted him to see?' Because it was not out on social media. Players on my team were questioned, and they said they have no knowledge of it. Then they expected this one part from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. in the morning that we did not monitor? I wish I could stay up that late at 64, but I cannot.

"So I just feel we are devastated by the news - all of us are - but that being said, moving forward, we believe we will win the appeal because it's right, that it's just. What went on was unjust and inconceivable. We will put our trust in the appeals process, and we believe that everything that we have done should have sufficed, and we think we'll come away fully intact with everything we're doing."

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