"One hundred percent": Rick Pitino says he would return to Louisville in interview with CBS Sports

Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 3:19 PM EDT
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It's been almost two years since Rick Pitino was fired as the head coach of the Louisville basketball program.

Pitino was fired by Louisville in October 2017, three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program was being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe.

Since being fired, Pitino has proclaimed his innocence and denied any wrongdoing in the college hoops corruption scandal.

Pitino did just the same during a sitdown interview with CBS Sports Network's Lesley Visser this week.

"Am I the leader? Yes. Do I have to take responsibility for anything that goes on? Yes," Pitino said in the interview. "I can't sit here though and say, 'I should have known', because if I would have known I would have stopped it within 10 seconds."

After coaching Panathinaikos for one season and leading the team to the Greek Basketball Cup final, Pitino is back in the states.

When asked if he would consider returning to Louisville, his answer was a resounding yes.

"One hundred percent. I loved the University of Louisville. I loved the University of Kentucky. I loved the people of Kentucky," Pitino said. "I’m not going to let five to seven, ten people spoil my feelings for a place I spent 17 years. The one thing you learn when you’re 66 is, man, put it behind you and get over yourself.”

Pitino spent 16 seasons with the Cardinals. But his tenure was tarnished by several embarrassing off-court incidents, including an escort scandal that resulted in NCAA sanctions culminating in having the Cardinals vacate 123 wins and their 2013 national championship and 2012 Final Four banners.

His overall record in his 34 years of coaching college basketball is 770-271. He's made 12 appearances in the NCAA Tournament along with seven trips to the Final Four.

See below to watch the interview clip with Pitino. The full interview with the former UofL head coach will air on CBS Sports' Network on One2One on August 23rd at 9:30 p.m.

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