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Why Rick Pitino to UCLA will never happen



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There’s been a little talk, mostly in the New York market ironically, that Rick Pitino could possibly end up at UCLA.

Sounds impossible? It really is.

According to reports, certain UCLA boosters were wanting to bring in the former Louisville coach.

There are quite a few reasons why Rick Pitino won’t be the next head coach at UCLA and probably elsewhere in Division-I basketball. Currently, he’s coaching Panathinaikos in Greece Pro Hoops.

Earlier this year when plotting a return to basketball he told ESPN,  “I love teaching basketball and am more passionate than ever.”

Too often it appeared that Pitino grossly lacked good judgment and if you believe certain allegations he reaped the benefits of a partnership with Adidas beyond just a multi-million dollar equipment contract.

At Louisville, there was one incident after another (USA TODAY compiled a list).  Eventually, the list grew too long, and despite pleas from Pitino that he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing in his program, Louisville finally let him go.

To win at UCLA you’ve got to recruit, it’s not just teaching. Steve Alford can teach.  Will 5-star recruits be lining up to play for Pitino at UCLA-just because?

Yet another reason is age. Which is not entirely fair but it’s the reality.  It’s not a knock on his abilities as a teacher and motivator. Big-time athletics is an age-discriminatory field.  At 66 he’s not too old to coach, but UCLA isn’t looking for a three or four-year flyer. They are ready to hire their Coach K, their Bill Self and have been for a while.

The biggest thing stopping a Pitino hire at UCLA or any other institution is a single question:  Can the President, Board, and Atheltic Director honestly feel like the risk would be worth the reward?

Pitino can be a teacher of life lessons both good and bad, that doesn’t mean he’ll be a college basketball coach again.

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