Rhode Island shoots down report saying it pursued Rick Pitino

Ruben Hill
April 4, 2018

According to the report, athletic director Thorr Bjorn approached URI President David Dooley about the deal, but Pitino's connection to an ongoing Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into corruption within college basketball recruiting circles became a sticking point. Pitino's salary at Rhode Island would have been less than Hurley's new contract at the University of CT and less than a third of Pitino's total package he had received at Louisville before his ouster.

GoLocalProv Sports reported Monday that the former Louisville coach had come to a rough agreement with Rhode Island last week, but it was shot down by university president David Dooley. The report indicated that the deal would have paid Pitino $2 million per year.

"Dooley and Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn have not spoken with Rick Pitino", the school said in a statement on its website.

But, when Bjorn took the offer to Dooley, the hiring was shot down.

URI even requested the outlet remove the story from its website.

'The University takes journalistic integrity very seriously and denies the validity of this story in its entirety, ' the statement continued.

Rick Pitino still appears to be in basketball purgatory. According to multiple sources, Dooley balked due to Pitino's ties to an Federal Bureau of Investigation probe of the NCAA and other controversies. The Rams are in search of a new coach after Dan Hurley left for UConn. Pitino would certainly be a controversial choice.

"Every night I go to bed, I'm bitter at the USA attorney's office and at the "board of traitors" at Louisville", Pitino said in a recent interview. "I'm not bitter at the school, but at the Board of Traitors".

Louisville is the first Division I men's basketball program to vacate a national title during the Final Four era, according to ESPN.

For now, it's merely a missed opportunity for college basketball fans to see what Pitino could have done at a program like Rhode Island coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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