NEW: President Dooley Kills Hiring of Pitino at URI

Monday, April 02, 2018


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Rick Pitino, Hall of Fame Coach

The University of Rhode Island Athletic Director Thorr Bjorn had come to a rough agreement in principle with Rick Pitino to succeed Dan Hurley as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at the University late last week. 

According to multiple sources, the deal would have paid the embattled Hall of Fame Coach Pitino $2 million a year. Pitino's salary at Rhode Island would have been less than Hurley's new contract at the University of Connecticut and less than a third of Pitino’s total package he had received at Louisville before his ouster.

But, when Bjorn took the offer to URI President David Dooley the hiring was shot down. According to multiple sources, Dooley balked due to Pitino’s ties to an FBI probe of the NCAA and other controversies.

GoLocal first reported Hurley would be hired at UConn.

"Every night I go to bed, I'm bitter at the U.S. 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."

But, when Bjorn took the offer to Dooley, the hiring was shot down. According to multiple sources, Dooley balked due to Pitino’s ties to an FBI probe of the NCAA.

URI spokeswoman Linda Acciardo refused to respond to request for comment.

Latest for Pitino

According to a 2017 Louisville Courier-Journal article, “Pitino's compensation, paired with $2.25 million in pay from Adidas, adds up to $7.76 million over the past year. The details of his contract released in 2015, when U of L announced a 10-year extension with the Hall of Fame coach, show Pitino will average $5.093 million in base salary through the 2025-26 season.”

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Bjorn, Hurley, and Dooley at happier times at URI (L-R)

According to Business Insider, “The Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team has been wrecked with scandal recently, and even had to vacate its most recent title."

The good news for the Cardinals, however, is they are still the richest men's college basketball program in the country. Based on the most recent data, the Cardinals have the highest revenue of any program in the country, and it is not even that close.

3-year avg. men's basketball revenue: $45,143,036

1-year change: -3.7%

5-year change: 3.6%

Total athlete department donations: $30,391,706

Athletics licensing/rights fees: $38,148,302

2016 expenses: $2,289,807

2016 profit: $41,670,685

Pitino has coached five teams to the final fours and won two National Championships.


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