At the University of Louisville basketball tipoff luncheon, head coach Rick Pitino spoke to a crowd of 1,200 fans excited for the new season, but also nervous about the alleged prostitution scandal swirling about.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF PITINO REMARKS via Courier-Journal
My October 8 radio conversation with Coach Pitino came up in his address to the crowd.
From WDRB.com – Pitino said that he was not angry at WHAS radio personality Terry Meiners, who began an interview last week by asking Pitino if he had plans to resign.
“Some people thought he blindsided me,” Pitino said. “He probably did … The person who blindsided me is my friend … his job is not to build me up in that moment, his job is get to the truth.”
Terry Meiners didn't pull any punches in Pitino interview. Nice job. And Rick answered every question. Anguish from both.
— Paul Rogers (@paulnrogers1) October 8, 2015
This was all about anguish, not an ambush. Coach Pitino and I are longtime friends. We spoke for 13 minutes the day before the interview and I asked him the resignation question and many more questions that were repeated on the radio. There was also some background info that Coach Pitino gave me to fill in some blind spots.
Like two lawyers, we were doing discovery prior to our public exchange. No specific restrictions were placed on the interview. We were two pros doing our jobs informing the public on the current status of community-wide upheaval.
We both walked away with integrity intact.
What the radio audience heard was a natural extension of our own conversations that are not broadcast. In fact, the last thing I said to Coach Pitino before putting him on HOLD to start radio broadcast feed was, “Let’s talk about all the same things we did yesterday but without the curse words” (most of which were mine).
He laughed. i turned on my microphone and we launched into an insightful back-and-forth that Rick handled with aplomb.
Rick is real. His heart is broken with the notion that someone who worked for him could have violated his trust. When resolution arrives, Pitino will process it, learn from it, and lead with a keener vision.
From Rick Pitino’s remarks, October 13, 2015
“I have a friend (Terry Meiners). Some people thought he blindsided me (in this radio interview). He probably did. Very similar to President Obama being blindsided by Steve Kroft on a recent interview with 60 Minutes. They all said, ‘That was his friend.’ Well, the person who blindsided me is my friend. The first question he asked — and I was going on his show in tough times to be nice — he said, ‘Will you resign? Are you considering resigning?’ I said, ‘Well, hello to you, too, Terry.’ In the end, I have no problem with it. Just like Steve Kroft had a job to do, so does he. His job is not to build me up at that moment. His job is to get to the truth. And that’s not what friends are for when you go on an interview, obviously.”