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Louisville fallout: Rick Pitino is a disgrace, John Beilein leads with grace

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Good guys finish last? Can we change that?

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NCAA Basketball Tournament - Second Round - Michigan v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In every profession, leaders lead the right way, or they lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want. From CEO’s being philanthropists or corporate crooks, to sports coaches inspiring young athletes or bribing them and cutting corners, all walks of life have both extremes.

This brings us to the news that the Louisville Cardinals basketball team will be stripped of 123 wins, including their 2013 National Championship over Michigan. It’s a shame Michigan lost, because they had a coach that got the team to the dance doing everything the right way, while Pitino was nothing more than a mob-boss type leader who happened to know a lot about basketball.

Rick Pitino and John Beilein couldn’t possibly be any more different. Both men are 65, that’s about the only similarity.

Beilein represents everything that’s right about collegiate athletics.

In 2017, CBS asked 100 coaches “Who is the high-major coach you genuinely believe does everything by the book and operates completely within the NCAA’s rulebook?” Beilein won the vote.

Beilein was named head of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Ethics Coaltion back in 2009, and if recruits are looking for favors from Michigan, he’s done recruiting them. “Whether its parents or prospects, if they are looking for that, they’re not talking with me or we’re off their list immediately. Because they know it’s not happening here, so we don’t even have to deal with it. It might not get us some recruits. Well, we don’t want those recruits that come for any other reason than what Michigan is all about.”

Rick Pitino on the other hand, is a disgrace, and represents everything that can be wrong about college sports.

Mr. Pitino does not play by the rules. His track records makes for an adjective such as slimeball to be an accurate word to throw his way.

  • Pitino had an adulterous sexual scandal himself, where he had an affair with the wife of Louisville’s equipment manager. Pitino later gave her money to have an abortion.
  • Louisville had a sex for play scheme where a Louisville staffer would hire strippers for sex parties with players and recruits. This scandal is what has stripped Louisville of their wins and National Championship.
  • And finally, what got Pitino fired... a pay for play scheme involving Adidas and sports agents that arranged payments to Louisville recruits families. The FBI investigated Pitino, Louisville, Adidas, and they were caught red-handed.

The Louisville National Championship may have been taken away, but the sad part is a man with Pitino’s character is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. That accolade should be stripped from his resume. Cheaters of this magnitude should not belong in any prestigious hall.

It’s unfortunate that cheating can get a person so far in life before the chips ultimately fall. Pitino had years and years of success, admiration, albeit with him lying under the surface. It’s unfortunate the masses know the name Pitino and not the name Beilein. Doing the right thing doesn’t always get you the furthest unfortunately, but it gets you a life with less regret when things are all said and done.

I’m sick of the good guys finishing second too often, while people like Pitino take shortcuts and are perceived to be distinguished men and geniuses. Pitino was never a genius, he was just a decent coach who landed better players than almost any other team because he gave the recruits money and other “perks”. Well, the truth is now out, and his reputation is in the toilet.

Basketball fans should all applaud John Beilein for going against the grain when cheating can be the easier route. Be glad Michigan fans, be happy you have a coach that has nobility and a good conscience. Michigan may not have won the National Championship in 2013, but they were the cleanest team on the court.

Maize ‘n’ Brew is selling 2013 National Championship shirts, proceeds will benefit the ChadTough Foundation, click HERE to order