Shame on You, Rick Pitino

Here are Kyle Kuric’s numbers for last season.

10.8 points per game. 51.4% from the field, 44.9% from beyond the arc.

3.9 rebounds a game as an undersized forward.

Only 26 turnovers on the season, which is .74/ game. Against 40 assists, 29 steals and 7 blocks.

Which is not to mention that he was far and away the fans’ favorite player, the maker of the most clutch shots (including the game winner against Marquette that turned the season around), the creator of the best dunk of the year in all of college hoops  and Homecoming King.

And, for those efforts and that contribution, Kyle Kuric was rewarded thusly by maker of men, teacher of lessons, Rick Pitino.

“Son, you’ll have to walk on for your senior year.”

There is but one word in my vocabulary to describe this move: Disgusting.

Even if, say, Kobe Bryant, somehow had a year of college eligibility that had been uncovered and he wanted to come play for U of L, taking away Kyle Kuric’s scholarship to make way would be without any reasonable or rational justification whatsoever.

Coach, this is far from your proudest hour. This is a sad moment for U of L basketball.

– Seedy K

44 Comments

  1. jimmy king
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    could not agree more. as a former cardinal, I think this totally sends the wrong message. Regardless of how kyle gets his school paid for, I see it as a slap in the face to the heart of the team, Just one more thing for coaches recruiting against us to use against us.
    Kyle proves once again what a selfless member of the team he is.

  2. Camp Taylor
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Not sure I’m following, Seedy. The man is a “grand ambassador” for the school and city of Louisville.

  3. Bonny
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    On the face of it, it does not look good, but according to the paper this a.m. he always told Kyle he might take it back AND his father is a brain surgeon, so they obviously can afford to pay his tuition.

  4. Andy
    Posted June 8, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Bonny you missed the point. It does not matter what Pitino told his parents. It does not matter that they can afford it It is pure and simple the principle of the situation. The kid has done everything and more asked of him. He is the leading returning scorer. He played out of position for most of last year and produced impressive numbers. Kyle and his family should never have been asked to make this sacrifice. Seedy K is right on with his comments.

  5. james hobson
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 12:12 am | Permalink

    how can this suprise anyone, pitino has no morals.

  6. Woody
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    I agree Pitino should give back his bonus for the good of the program for massively under achieving.

  7. Jon
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    jimmy….if your a former player mind saying who you are? unless you arent or your brandon bender….. is that you brandon?

  8. The Great Golgio
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Where is your article about Cal pushing players out the door at UK to make room for his first class?

  9. Peter
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Jon, Jimmy is apparently Jimmy…King. As in the Jimmy King who played in 1993/94. So no, probably not Brandon Bender.

  10. The Great Golgio
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Also, he (Kuric) is back to the status that he was when he made the team as a walk-on. It didn’t seem to bother him then. I am also sure it was discussed with him prior to the presser. I would be willing to bet he said “whatever is best for the team”. OH! and yes I have met him before and this is the kind of charater he struck me as having.

  11. ConflictedCardsFan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Jon–Jimmy is the Jimmy King who played for the Cards in the early 90s. I don’t know how I feel about this situation. First, we have to believe what Pitino said about warning Kuric and his family about the possibility of his scholarship being removed–I guess I do–but who knows how he sold it to them. I don’t think Kuric will be bothered by this–I don’t know him personally, but I imagine that he knows he’s a great ball player. But Jimmy King’s point about how this might affect recruiting is interesting–I hadn’t considered that–and I don’t know if that would be a problem or not. I personally feel like if athletes do what they are supposed to do, then they should be able to keep their scholarship even if that scholarship could bring a good player to the school. Heck, I don’t know. It’s a team sport–I think every player on the team wants to win and will do whatever it takes to win.

  12. Jeff
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    I salute the penultimate team player. There was no coercion here. It was a sacrifice that he was willing to accept.

    Those slamming Pitino for moral standards remind me of the old lady next door who always needed something to gossip about.

    Go back to your Anthony Weiner blogs.

  13. ConflictedCardsFan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Jeff–I agree with you. Honestly, none of us really know what happened or what was discussed. Either way, it’s not that serious. Kuric is still on the team. I don’t like it when coaches push players to transfer in order to free up space on the roster–specifically when the player has done nothing wrong. That’s not this kind of situation. Kuric will likely start–hell, he might end up being our best player next year. That guy can flat out play basketball. I expect him to improve.

  14. c d kaplan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Let’s make something clear, again. Kyle Kuric has until now never been a Walk On at U of L. He did not commit and sign a LOI until offered a scholarship, which he has received every year until next. Whether the Kurics can afford to pay Kyle’s way or that Pitino may have said he might need the scholarship is beside the point. Instead of honoring Kuric’s dedication, hard work, attitude and contributions to the team, Pitino chose to deliver another message.

  15. Otis P. Boot
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Kyle was recruited as a preferred walk on. This means that if a scholarship became available he would get it. Due to attrition he was lucky enough to be on scholarship the first three years. Now he isn’t. Kyle and his family were even asked if this was ok (a courtesy that Rick did not have to extend).

    The Kurics were not upset by this at all, why are you?

  16. ConflictedCardsFan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    This is a good conversation. I keep changing my mind as I read each post. CD, I understand where you are coming from. There is a part of me that wants to/does agree with you. I just don’t think we have enough information to really have this conversation! We can’t believe anything the team tells us. Kuric may have willingly given up the scholarship–though I can imagine Pitino asking him to do it and Kuric feeling like “Sure coach” was the only answer. No one likes to disappoint a mentor they respect. If Kuric doesn’t care, then it doesn’t matter. But unless you’re a bud of his or a family member, you probably won’t know how he feels about this situation. I do think we’re getting to fixated on the individual–it is a team sport. Though I promise you, I don’t believe in winning at all costs–like my earlier post says–I don’t believe in running players off to free up room for better players. Thoughts?

  17. c d kaplan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure I can explain my reaction any more than I already have. This is simply not the way I want the coach of my favorite team to reward a player who has done everything right. Period. In my next blog, I pose the question of how Pitino might respond if asked to make a similar sacrifice?
    http://score.leoweekly.com/2011/06/08/menschlichkeit-kyle-kuric-a-question-for-coach-pitino/

  18. Sean
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Terrible, irresponsible journalism. Know the facts before you post such bad information.

  19. ConflictedCardsFan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    CD, just read your blog for today. I’m not a regular reader, but I think I will be now. I see where you are coming from–you are a fan who wants to root for a team that does things in an open and honest way. I still don’t know how I feel about the Kuric situation, but I can agree that college sports (and specifically U of L athletics) is headed in a direction that doesn’t excite me at all. And the fans pay for it with high prices on everything from game tickets to team apparel.

  20. Scott
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    If the kid and his parents are ok with it, why is it an issue?

    Focus on something more substantive, Seedy, like our national debt and the current God awful accupant of the White House.

  21. Scott
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Sorry…that’s “occupant!”

  22. Hightop77
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    This would never be done at UNC, Duke, UCLA, Kansas et al and it shouldn’t be done here. Of course the kid was pressured to do this just by the fact Pitino asked him to. As someone else said, let Pitino give us back some of the millions he been paid for all of the early NCAA tournament flame outs since he’s been here.

  23. FriendoftheProgram
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    This is what happened.

    Contrary to what you may have read on message boards or heard at the water cooler, Kyle was a preferred walk-on. He and his parents agreed that he would come to U of L and play for Pitino and IF he had a scholarship available, he would be granted it. Kyle was fortunate to receive a scholarship to U of L for three years and learn the game from one of the best minds in the game. His parents were prepared to pay for four years of college in order for Kyle to earn his degree, yet they get the same thing for paying for one year instead. They were told that if a scholarship was not available while Kyle was here, he would have to pay, they agreed.

    It doesn’t matter what his stats were, it matters that this was the agreement from the beginning. If he played three minutes a game and was a model student, homecoming king, but averaged .4 points a game and CRP told his parents that they would have to pay for his fourth year, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. CRP spoke to the Kuric’s and they gladly offered Kyle’s scholarship. That is how the Kuric family is and that is a testament to them and Kyle. Kyle was raised like this and it showed on the court. His selflessness, that he was raised to have, rubs off on his teammates and we all benefitted last season.

    So if you don’t know anything about the situation, please don’t say anything at all. It makes you look stupid.

    Sincerely,
    Friend of the Program

  24. Andy
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Friend of the Progam,
    Do you know the Kuric’s? You make a lot of statements that are counter to what I now from living in Evansville and traveling with the Kuric’s for AAU ball.

    Just curious

  25. Andy
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    whoops – should have been *know

  26. CP3
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Seems like a move to allow another scholly player so we can have a deeper team. Very smart move, not every player can afford tuition but Kuric can, sounds like his parents want their son to play for a good team so they take one for the team because other players cannot, chris smith is doing the same thing because his brother J.R. Smith can afford tuition. Terrible article.

  27. c d kaplan
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Friend Of Program — Not going to get into a He Say She Say with you, but my information is as I’ve stated. Kyle Kuric never committed to U of L, nor signed a LOI until after he was offered a scholarship, regardless of whether he was initially recruited as a Walk On (Preferred or otherwise). My information does not come from message boards. It is also what has been reported by Eric Crawford. And, I would be having this conversation, no matter his stats. I have repeatedly stated my displeasure with Pitino’s penchant for discarding and disregarding players who don’t meet his expectations; his habit of coaching and criticizing players through the media. The latest is George Goode. The next will be Jared Swopshire. Pitino has already declared he won’t give him an extra year even though last season is a red shirt year.

  28. CP3
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Who are you Seedy K? You should probably find a new job because journalism is not in your best interests.

  29. Aaron
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Theres no issue here. It was entirely Kyle and his family’s call. Kyle has shown how awesome he is again by falling on the sword for a fellow Cardinal and kept someone from having to transfer.

    This article is bush league.

  30. Phil
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Uh yeah. He knew this was going to happen, so whats the point? He agreed to it.

  31. htm62
    Posted June 9, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    How can you say with a straight face that it was entirely the Kuric family’s call? What would’ve happened if they had said no? Do you think King Rick would honor their wishes? Pitino cares about no one but Pitino, period. This is even more obvious by the treatment of one George Goode, another player who did everything the right way. I am a life long UofL fan but will be thankful when Pitino leaves. Controversy has followed this program continually since he has been here. How about just coaching/playing good basketball? Does anyone care about that anymore?

  32. desg
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Please tell me what business is it of anyone othe than the Kuric’s. His fathe is a neursugeon and his mothe an ARNP. His father can pay for Kyles’s tuition and money left over from one surgery. I think it is wonderful to have people of means who want to win more than to say their son played his senior year on full scholarship. Kyle was devastated at the loss the first round in the NCAA. I’m sure he is such a competitor that he and his family want to go deep in the tournament rather than putting 10K more in the bank.

  33. Feesh
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Could you be any more wrong???

    All Kuric and/or his family had to do was say “NO”. Did you even read Kuric’s comments?

    In short – youre an idiot.

  34. Cardsfan
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    This article is ridiculous
    Kyle offered to give up the scholarship
    It’s as simple as that
    He wanted to make the team better

  35. Larry Schumer
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Is it Seedy; or is it Slimey!

    Cheap shot sensationalism from one who hides behind a apropo moniker, “Seedy”.

    Made for a sensational story but is total bunk – thanks for slithering into the sewer of journalism, you should apply for the position that lil’ Matty bangs just got fired from at CBS for similar irresponsible reporting.

    Kyle was given 3 years worth of scholarships that he was never promised (value of approx $100K); his parents and he agreed to the terms that all walkons are given; and Coach Pitino has developed his talents from those of a young man that no high major offered a scholly to, to a BEAST star and a possible NBA draft pick.

    Now stop the cheap shots and explain how UofL or Coach Pitino have damaged, or done this young man dirty!

  36. Scott
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    This is just another example of people believing that they really know details of every situation they hear of in sports. You judge Pitino and you have no clue! Call me when you are invited to all of the conversations that he has with a kid and his family.

  37. FriendoftheProgram
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    CD,

    I am not going to dispute your information because it is true but you only have part of the story therefore what you said is infact true, HOWEVER if you knew the whole story, it changes everything. First, Kyle was recruited as a walk on. He had a couple other offers to smaller schools, I think Evansville and another school. Those were his only scholarship offers when he was recruited. Pitino told Kyle and his parents that if Kyle wanted to play basketball at UofL he would welcome him as a walk on AND IF A SCHOLARSHIP was available he would put him on scholarship, THEY AGREED. That year we missed on a few last minute recruits, Tyreke Evans and Jeff Withey come to mind and there was a SF from Florida I believe (my memory is getting worse as I get older). However, there was a scholarship available and Kyle was offered, as promised. This is similar to the Justice situation last season. He was recruited as a walk on, but when Samuels left, he was told he could be on scholarship. I don’t see you writing a blog about how Justice got screwed by Pitino because he is off scholarship. The reason you are writing about this is because of the type of year that Kyle had, not because he is not on scholarship. The Kuric’s were never mislead and their son was on scholarship for three years, even when they were not promised ANY scholarship. As I stated in my previous post, your article was written because you feel like Kyle’s play deserves a scholarship and I would not disagree, but don’t bash Pitino because he did not go back on his word nor did the Kuric’s get screwed. Justice averaged 2.4 points last season and he is not on scholarship any longer yet I don’t see you blogging about how Pitino is screwing him over! I love the way Kyle plays and his selflessness bleeds over to his teammates. But let’s call it like it really is…and not grasp at straws and try to call CRP out. If you are going to write something, please get all of the facts.

    Now if you want to bring up the George Goode situation, we can have some discussion there as well. These guys are STUDENT athletes and are here to get an education. George has had signifcant injuries that has hurt his contribution to the team on the floor. HE HAS BEEN ON SCHOLARSHIP THE WHOLE TIME AND WILL WALK AWAY FROM HERE WITH A DEGREE FOR FREE! What has CRP done that is so wrong to George??? All he has done is let a great young man get a free eduation! Now why don’t you write a story about Clarence Holloway. You know, the recruit from Chicago that got here and had a heart condition that took his basketball future away. If CRP is such a bad person, why would he give him a student assistant coach’s spot on the team so he could get his education paid? Look, I am not going to say CRP does not have some short comings, BUT don’t we all? Again, let’s call everything like it is and not get 1/2 a story and post some misinformed article. Let’s do a little research to get all of the info accurate first…journalism 101.

  38. ^^^What He Said^^^
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Friend of the Program pretty much just owned you Seedy.

    Look at it from this prospective as well. In 2006, Peyton Manning agreed to restructure his contract, essentially reducing his pay by $8.2M, to make extra cap room so that the Colts could resign some key pieces to the team. Peyton could afford to do so, and in doing so, he assured that the Colts would not have to let anyone from their team go to free agency, thus strengthening the team in the hopes of repeating as Super Bowl Champions.

    I don’t see any difference between what Kuric is doing and what Peyton did. And I don’t remember bloggers and journalists whining and crying about how wrong it was for Tony Dungy to ask this of him. Kuric is the ultimate team player, and rather than blasting Pitino for asking this, the article should have instead been praising Kyle Kuric. But it’s so much more fun to attack a coach who has been so heavily scrutinized, isn’t it?

  39. BIGGEST CARDINAL FAN!!
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    TEAM FIRST ATTiTUDE iS KYLE KURIC IS DEMONSTRATING!!!!!!!!!–Not that many of you all would understand….!!!

    Not 2 mention–Kyle and his family have the money to pay the tuition anyways……..so whats the big deal………….!!!!!!!! Just sit back and wait for us to crush KENTUCKY IN LEXINGTON………..I Know I know im getting anxious too.

  40. Mike
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Anyone dogging Pitino for this is STUPID! Kuric volunteered, his dad is filthy rich, and its whats best for the team. Im suprised you didnt give the same argument for Chris Smith. Did he not perform? Oh thats right his big brother is in the NBA and can AFFORD to pay a few thousand $$ for his brothers tuition. Wonder what brain surgeons make these days?
    Be upset if Kuric plays walk-on minutes. If he isnt concerned, nor should you be!

  41. Andy
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    Ok – this is getting to be too much. There are so many in accuracies here it is unbelievable.

    Friend of the program – I don’t know who you are but you also have some mixed fact and fiction.

    Kyle had TONS of offers – not 2. Call Chris Lowrey at SIU and see how many people he was fighting against to get Kyle. The whole MVC wanted him plus Michigan, Xavier, etc. Crean was all over him when he got to Indiana. He blew up in July on the AAU circuit. One game in Las Vegas our team played against the Markoff twins of Kansas fame. We lost by 3 with Kyle as our 2nd tallest player. Kyle was awesome in that game and generated a lot of interest. Pitino (along with Coach K) watched and Kyle talked with Pitino after the Vegas tournament. The offer at the point was for Kyle to walk on his first year and get a scholarship after that. Kyle took an official visit to Louisville in early September and during the visit Pitino changed the offer to a scholarship right away. Mike Hughes even wrote an article about the upgraded offer and in the article Kyle said he was not going to walk on but the immediate scholarship changed things and he was going to have to think about it. This is where the story seems to get a little clouded by many.

    Kyle was being recruited by Michigan and his grandfather was a graduate of Michigan. He promised his grandfather that he would visit Michigan. That visit was scheduled for the weekend after the Louisville visit. He kept his word and visited but that weekend Swopshire visited Louisville and committed while he was there. When Kyle did make a decision and called Pitino he was told that there would not be a scholarship available to sign in the fall period but there would be in the spring if he was willing to wait. Kyle was ok with that. If you read the press clippings from signing day Kyle is quoted as saying “Coach Pitino said it would happen and it did. I just had to be patient” (for anyone interested I have the clippings if you want copies). Kyle stayed loyal and committed throughout his entire senior year despite all of the rumors and continued recruiting that went on.

    For those of us that know and love Kyle and his family, it is painful to see all of the conjecture, guesses, half truths, and total falsehoods that have been going around these last few days. I knew Kyle was special when I worked with him 5 years ago. The Louisville fans have a great kid representing the university.

  42. Shame on you, Seedy K
    Posted June 14, 2011 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    http://scouthoops.scout.com/a.z?s=75&p=8&c=1&nid=3244962

    A Mike Hughes article that was posted on Feb. 19, 2008 explains Kuric’s situation 3 months before his signing day. “Kuric said he’s ‘definitely’ planning to attend Louisville next season. “I haven’t heard much about it,” Kuric said of a possible scholarship for next year. “It depends on who leaves. I talk to the (coaches) weekly. I mostly talk to Coach McCarty but sometimes to Coach Pitino.”

    Looks to me like he may have had a real interest in Michigan but they never officially offered him a scholarship. He ended up making Louisville and Southern Illinois his final two.

    I think stories like this are great for college basketball. The kid has been a pleasant surprise for the university and I’m sure he was excited to find one more way to help out his team. He knows as well as anyone that giving up his scholarship gives him and his team a better chance at competing in the NCAA.
    I don’t have a grade sheet in front of me or anything but I would be willing to bet that he would be able to get an educational scholarship for his grades if he pursued it at all. Here is a little something I found that shows how good of a student he has been.

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/searchq=cache:Fo6syar9Xg8J:www.bigeast.org/portals/5/fls/19400/pdfs/Academics/2010-11/excellence_awards/mbb.pdf+Kyle+kuric+GPA&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com

    Looks like he is going to be ok big guy. Stop trying to stir S*** and start reporting something good for a change.

  43. Last Statement
    Posted June 14, 2011 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I do need to clear this up. I just realized Kuric would not be allowed to receive an academic scholarship because it would still count against the team’s limit. That isn’t the real issue at hand though.

    “Coach told me and my parents that at any year in my career that he might need the scholarship. He met with my parents at the end of the season and told them if there was a problem that he wouldn’t do it, but they were glad to.

    “We’re just happy to do what’s in the best interest of the team. It doesn’t matter to me.”

  44. cixfnkfrln
    Posted October 1, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

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