CRAWFORD | Boeheim outspoken on Pitino, Louisville FBI situation - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Boeheim outspoken on Pitino, Louisville FBI situation

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Jim Boeheim coaches against Louisville. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford_ Jim Boeheim coaches against Louisville. (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford_

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim knew the question would come. He had some strong words for the situation at Louisville during ACC Media Days last fall.

When asked about the firing of his friend Rick Pitino and athletics director Tom Jurich back then, Boeheim said he found their dismissals “sickening.”

“What has (Pitino) done at Louisville? What has Tom Jurich done at Louisville? Now all of a sudden they’re like bad guys?” Boeheim said at ACC Media Day. “To me that is sickening. It makes me sick to read the comments that have come out of there. Do you know where Louisville would be without Tom Jurich? They would be playing their games at Freedom Hall. They would be playing football wherever the hell they were playing. And now he’s a bad guy?”

Boeheim doubled down after his team’s 78-73 win over Louisville in the KFC Yum! Center Monday night. He said he didn’t want to say something that would make anyone mad, but then again, he’s a Hall of Famer and doesn’t really care about making anyone mad.

“Everybody knows Rick Pitino worked for me. He’s a great friend of mine,” Boeheim said. “To me he’s one of the two best coaches in modern basketball in college. By that I mean after John Wooden. So to lose a guy like that, that’s – you know, in my opinion, that’s where (Pitino) is. I think you’ve got to put Mike (Krzyzewski) ahead of him. But I think Rick did it with lesser players, even. He’s a great friend of mine and I feel bad about the whole situation, but it’s what happened.”

Boeheim, however, didn’t stop there. He noted that the other three NCAA head coaches caught up in the mess – Sean Miller at Arizona, Bruce Pearl at Auburn and Jim Larranaga at Miami – continue to coach their teams.

“It’s interesting the other three coaches are still coaching,” Boeheim said. “I don’t know if that means anything or not.”

Boeheim’s comments weren’t meant to diminish the job David Padgett is doing at Louisville. Boeheim said he told Padgett he thinks he’s doing an outstanding job several times Monday.

“I think he’s doing a great job,” Boeheim said. “I think it’s an impossible situation. I think to take over a team like that, I think it’s just hard. Really hard. I think he’s doing great.”

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