Pitino Hurts His Own CausePosted by jstevrtc on August 26th, 2009
The Rick Pitino 3pm news conference has just ended. If you didn’t get to see it, you didn’t miss much (video highlights posted below). All we saw was a frustrated man.
Pitino basically just wanted to get up in public and tell the media why he doesn’t like what they do (at least when they say negative things about him), and then thinks he has the authority to go tell them what they SHOULD be covering. He made a couple of references to how he didn’t understand why the media was covering the release of the Karen Sypher tapes “on the day that Ted Kennedy has died.” He seemed ticked off that the New York media had been reporting on the subject today, and was surprised that they would do so, because — Pitino’s own words — the New York media had always treated him with respect. (Ed. note – Pitino made no comment on the Boston media.) His frustration on this point was compounded since he describes himself as “a proud New Yorker,” which has never been disputed. And he reiterated his faith that the truth will come out during the upcoming trial.
I agree with Pitino that there really isn’t much actual NEW information to be reported by these news outlets — Pitino specifically singled out Fox 41 in Louisville during the press conference. They seemed to want to take Sypher’s rape allegation (which was all but squashed by the Louisville police, in terms of its credibility) and report it as a new story, when in fact people have known about that particular facet of all of this for a while, now. What I don’t understand is why, when (as Pitino admitted during his rant) he has his legal team telling him not to talk, when he has the authorities telling him not to talk, when he most likely has his friends and family telling him not to talk, Pitino hears this advice and thinks, “Right! I’ll call a press conference!” If you have faith in the trial, then let the trial do the talking.
Now, I have no comprehension as to what’s going on in this man’s life — that is, in his home, within the confines of his marriage and regarding his relationship with his family. That’s nobody’s business but his own, though Pitino openly admits that there have been problems and that his wife is certainly struggling with all of this, to say the least. Who couldn’t understand that? No question that whole clan is in hell right now. And if you’re Rick Pitino, it’s beyond frustrating to turn on the news and watch them try to take what appears to be, at this point, OLD information and report it in a way that makes it look like something new has developed. The unfortunate fact is that this is par for the course and it results from a bad decision that Pitino himself made back at that restaurant. This treatment from the media is something he’s just going to have to endure.
But today’s press conference highlights something that Pitino has never learned, and that’s the fact that he is not “above” the people to whom he is speaking. You can’t come out there and tell the media what they SHOULD be reporting, like the poor economy (it’s been covered a little already) or the death of Ted Kennedy (not the domain of local sports reporters). People don’t like to be told how to do their jobs any more than he does. You can’t get up there and talk about how you’re from New York and expect people to be impressed by it; it’s not going to gain you any extra credibility.
Rick Pitino is a great basketball coach, and for the most part he’s pretty media-savvy, which makes today’s press conference all the more puzzling. If you don’t think there’s any real news to report about a bad decision you made several years ago — don’t go out and create it.
We’ll continue to review the newly-released tapes and be back with more on this issue as events warrant.