Does Richard Pitino want to stay in Minnesota a long time?
On the most superficial level, all signs point to yes. The Gophers coach, barreling toward his second season with the university, has said all the right things and seems to genuinely like his new job and life in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
That contentment will likely be tested whenever his dad, Louisville coach Rick Pitino, decides to step down.
And what do we find behind the link?
Richard Pitino, Minnesota head coach. The son ascends to the throne. Richard Pitino has been a head coach for just two seasons and turns 32 this year, but he has two stints as an assistant at Louisville on his resume, and he is at a perfect stepping-stone job in Minnesota. He won 25 games and the NIT championship in his first season with the Golden Gophers. Presuming that the younger Pitino keeps the program on an upward trajectory, the eventual outcome seems far too obvious to ignore: Rick Pitino keeps coaching for a few more years and then times his departure for the moment when his son's accomplishments would make him a slam-dunk replacement. If the elder Pitino left immediately? It might get a little fuzzy, given his son's limited track record as a head coach, but Louisville might take the leap anyway.
/beats head on desk
Since this was out there, I figured I'd go see what our SBN brethren at Card Chronicle had to say about all of this. What I found was dumber than I could have expected (thankfully it was just the CC folks linking to the stupid):
What Will Pitino Do?
Don't know. I care but I don't know. And I'm going to try and avoid talking about it whenever possible. I'll probably fail because this stuff is fan comment crack but still, attempts will be made. Getting into that conversation isn't why I brought this all up.
Why Did You Bring This All Up?
Because the video made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spork and I thought you all should suffer too. More seriously, because I had the same visceral reaction to this talk that I'm sure most of you will and I decided to bring this forth as a plea to ignore it until there's something to actually talk about. Don't get me wrong, I'll gladly take the free hits this story can bring but it's going to make us all miserable and we should probably just avoid it.
These stories are only going to get worse (by which I mean more prevalent) this fall. And if Richard does what we all hope he will and continues to improve the Gophers, we'll start to hear his name come up in conjunction with any bigger program's opening. So join fellow Gopher fans. Let's just ignore as much of this completely speculative prattle as we can for as long as is necessary. It'll do us all good.