March Madness is college basketball’s true moment in the sun, a time when the eyes of the sports world turn on them, in many cases for the first time all year. Many of us learn the names of some schools and athletes for the first time, and first impressions can last a lifetime (I know I can’t think of Northern Iowa without remembering Ali Farokhmanesh’s ballsy three to knock off Kansas). So, with all eyes on the NCAA, ESPN decided to host Rick Pitino, head coach of the banned-from-postseason Louisville Cardinals, on the Mike & Mike radio program for some reason.
From that interview, they posted a video segment online that contains Pitino speaking in a calm, controlled manner about how he had no idea about the parties filled with prostitutes thrown for recruits in the college dorms, because he was never there. He spoke of how upset and blindsided he was when he heard the allegations because he never saw any prostitutes or untoward activity of any kind when he, the most recognizable authority figure on campus, was around the student dormitories.
That’s where the video ends, without any questions from the two Mikes, like, “But Rick, isn’t it somehow possible that you could be aware of possible activities by your students and employees without being physically present to witness them?” There was no interrogation from ESPN of either a potential outright lie or a potential admission that he doesn’t know or care what the young men in his charge are getting up to.
Bill Simmons, now free of the Worldwide Leader and thus free to bash them, absolutely laid into the hosts on Twitter.
Those are some absolutely hellacious burns from Simmons, but in the case of Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, they’re well-earned.