The Louisville Athletic Association voted unanimously Monday to fire Rick Pitino "for just cause" -- meaning he's officially done as the Cardinals' basketball coach. Whether the Hall of Famer ever collects all or some of the $44 million he was owed per terms of his contract remains unclear and could ultimately be determined by a judge. Or, more likely, Pitino and Louisville will someday reach a settlement. But what's now crystal-clear, either way, is that he'll never coach the Cardinals again. He's done at Louisville forever. But is Pitino done forever, period? That's the new question worth asking. And the answer, of course, is ... probably. I only say "probably" because of Dave Bliss, who once committed major rules violations at Baylor, tried to frame a murder victim as a drug dealer to avoid getting caught, then got caught and fired but still eventually coached college basketball again. Because of Dave Bliss, you can never say never. Not in this sport. So I'd never say never. And you shouldn't, either. But it's worth noting that I asked 10 different people late Monday -- a mix of athletic directors, coaches and agents, you know, the folks who understand this sport best -- if they believe Pitino will someday coach college basketball again, and only one said yes. Only one. And the reason Pitino will likely never coach college basketball again, most believe, is because of what just happened to Tom Jurich. Two years ago, Jurich was widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best, athletic directors in the country. Now he's been placed on leave and is unlikely to return to his role of running Louisville's athletic department for one reason and one reason only -- because he stood by Pitino after a prostitution scandal rocked the program and resulted in heavy NCAA sanctions. Some athletic directors, if not most athletic directors, would've made a change back in 2015. But Jurich didn't. And when some combination of Pitino, his staff, a shady agent and two Adidas executives subsequently created another ugly situation because they allegedly conspired to compensate a prospect's family to get said prospect to enroll at Louisville, Jurich paid with his job. So his allegiance to Pitino cost him big time.
Rick Pitino will never coach college hoops again, industry sources tend to believe
CBS Sports | Oct 17