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Rick Pitino introduced as Kentucky basketball coach, 1989

Posted on January 20, 2017 | in Uncategorized | by
Rick Pitino during his introductory news conference as the University of Kentucky basketball coach, June 1, 1989. Behind Pitino to the right is the man who hired him, first year athletic director C.M. Newton. The 36-year-old coach of the NBA's New York Knicks said he was up to the challenge of guiding Kentucky out of cloud of NCAA sanctions. "Sanctions and probations just make it a little bit tougher," Pitino said in a Patterson Office Tower board room packed with reporters, 15 television cameras and UK officials. "But we will overcome all obstacles in making Kentucky basketball rich again." Kentucky faced a ban on post-season play for two years, a ban on live television appearances in 1989-90 and scholarship reductions resulting from an investigation that unveiled such NCAA rules violations as the sending of $1,000 to a recruit's father and cheating on a college entrance exam. Newton called Pitino's hiring the "first step in rebuilding the basketball program." In his remarks Pitino referred to a recent Sports Illustrated cover story, headlined "Kentucky's Shame," that outlined the UK program he inherited. "I promise to you people in this room today you'll see Kentucky on the cover of Sports Illustrated once again," Pitino said, "and it will be cutting down certain nets. It won't be for what you saw last week." Photo by David Sterling | staff

Rick Pitino during his introductory news conference as the University of Kentucky basketball coach on June 1, 1989. Behind Pitino to the right is the man who hired him, first-year athletic director C.M. Newton. Pitino, 36, the coach of the NBA’s New York Knicks, said he was up to the challenge of guiding Kentucky out of its cloud of NCAA sanctions. “Sanctions and probations just make it a little bit tougher,” Pitino said in a Patterson Office Tower board room packed with reporters, 15 television cameras and UK officials. “But we will overcome all obstacles in making Kentucky basketball rich again.” Kentucky faced a ban on postseason play for two years, a ban on live television appearances in the 1989-90 season, and scholarship reductions as a result of an investigation that unveiled NCAA rules violations including the sending of $1,000 to a recruit’s father and cheating on a college entrance exam. Newton called Pitino’s hiring the “first step in rebuilding the basketball program.” In his remarks, Pitino referred to a recent Sports Illustrated cover story, headlined “Kentucky’s Shame,” that outlined the UK program he inherited. “I promise to you people in this room today, you’ll see Kentucky on the cover of Sports Illustrated once again,” Pitino said, “and it will be cutting down certain nets. It won’t be for what you saw last week.” Pitino and current UK basketball coach John Calipari discussed the Kentucky-Louisville rivalry, Pitino’s early days at UK and their introductions to coaching during an hourlong podcast that Calipari released recently. Photo by David Sterling | Staff

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