Fans message to Pitino: Don't go

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - One day after the University of Louisville's shocking defeat in their first game in the NCAA tournament, fans are wondering if Coach Rick Pitino will be returning next season. Pitino mentioned the end of his career several times in Thursday's post game press conference.

"This is as tough a loss as I've had in coaching," said Pitino. "I've been coaching a long time and after tonight maybe too long."

Fans are split on what he's going to do.

"He's going to stay," said Brian Grincius who cheers for the Buckeyes and Cards. "He did a really good job this year, and they have a good recruiting class coming in."

Seventh grader Matthew Dickerson says he hopes he stays, but doesn't think he will.

"I think he's going to go because he lost too many games," said Dickerson.

Ray Sciortino and his girlfriend disagree too.

"I actually think that he might leave myself because of all the scandal and everything," said Sciortino while on the phone with his girlfriend. " It's just been a rough time, but my girl on the phone, she thinks that he's going to stay because she says he's a very honorable man, and he wants to get the team back up there."

The fans' message, however, was clear.

"Rick, we need you," said Hoosiers and Cards fan Jody Proctor. "Come back. Stay in Louisville. Don't let Kentucky win anymore."

A reporter asked Pitino if he was going to retire. He said this is the type of team he wants to coach in his last years, not year of coaching, but said he'll take some time off and reflect as he always does.

"You always want to coach a team like this in your last years that you coach the game," said Pitino. "Some coaches don't get that opportunity. I did."

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