Speaking as a basketball coach, I can respect Pitino's affinity for roundball over football. Still, if you thought his previous comments were a little off the wall, you'd be interested in hearing his recent thoughts on Pitt and West Virginia.Pitino didn't speak so much about those two schools as he did about Syracuse, but I still thought this was intriguing:
"So we’re going to miss them. Pitt and West Virginia were great for our conference, but putting Memphis and Temple in place of those two, you’re replacing two great traditions with two great traditions, but we’re going to miss Syracuse."
Look, there's nothing wrong with putting Temple and Memphis up on a pedestal and pretending as if they're wonderful programs. Both have been solid (even in Memphis' case, spectacular, in recent memory) in basketball, but neither have had the sustained success that either Pitt or West Virginia have had at hoops and the Panthers and Mountaineers blow them both away when it comes to football success.
No one would argue that of the three defectors, Syracuse has had the best basketball track record when it comes to postseason success over the past decade, but to act like what West Virginia did for the conference in terms of football (and Pitt to a lesser degree) is meaningless is incredibly preposterous.
And in crushing Syracuse for leaving, Pitino always seems to conveniently leave that his own university bolted Conference USA for greener pastures only a few short years ago.