Pitino on Collapse of Big East: ‘This was not Dave Gavitt’s dream’
Rick Pitino grew up coaching in the Big East at Providence and was a staunch defender of the league even as Syracuse and Pitt announced they were leaving for the ACC, and UConn tried to follow.
Now Pitino and Louisville are also headed to the ACC, and the league’s seven Catholic schools are headed out the door to form their own league, too.
Speaking on “Courtside With Seth Davis,” Pitino said he recently told Georgetown coach John Thompson III and Villanova coach Jay Wright that he was surprised the Catholic schools hadn’t left long ago.
“I just said to those guys, ‘I can’t believe the Catholic schools haven’t told the football people to go to heck,'” Pitino said. “I can’t believe these guys just sit back and take it. And they finally came to their senses and said, ‘You know what, this wasn’t Dave Gavitt’s dream. We don’t need any of this nonsense anymore.’ It’s just ridiculous. It’s basically we have a bunch of athletic directors that are acting like Carl Icahn who’s a corporate raider and taking over companies. And they finally got smart and said, ‘This is not it, this is not what we’re all about.’ They’re going to form their own league. It’ll be back to what the Big East was about when I was at Providence in ’87, and good for them because I don’t like what it’s become.
“I don’t like what any of the conferences have become right now, personally. It’s just too much greed, too much about money, not about women’s sports, not about all the other people that don’t have chartered flights.”
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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.