An­other chance for Pitino? Yes, Vi­tale says.

The Washington Post Sunday - - WASHINGTONPOST.COM/SPORTS - BY MATT BONESTEEL matt.bonesteel@wash­

Rick Pitino ad­mit­ted to hav­ing sex­ual re­la­tions with the wife of his team’s equip­ment man­ager. Louisville brought him back.

A for­mer staffer ar­ranged for strip­pers and pros­ti­tutes to have sex with play­ers and re­cruits in the team dorm. Pitino de­nied any knowl­edge of it and kept his job.

Only when the feds got in­volved did the ax fi­nally fall: Louisville fired the Hall of Fame coach last month af­ter an FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion found an ex­ec­u­tive from Adi­das and oth­ers con­spired to steer re­cruits to Louisville via six-fig­ure pay­ments to their fam­i­lies, with Pitino al­legedly be­ing aware of the scheme.

ESPN com­men­ta­tor Dick Vi­tale, for one, thinks Pitino de­serves yet an­other chance.

“I agree with Geno Auriemma, who said [he] would hire him in a minute,” Vi­tale told the New York Post. “The guy isn’t on pro­ba­tion any­where he’s ever been. If there was some­one look­ing to make a big hit, I think he would be a great hire. I re­ally do . . . . He’s made mis­takes, no doubt about it. I’ve made mis­takes. I am sure you’ve made mis­takes. I don’t know how hun­gry he would be. I know he misses this team be­cause he had told me be­fore any of this hap­pened that this could be the best team he’s had.”

Auriemma, the Hall of Fame coach of the Con­necti­cut women, told the “Par­don My Take” pod­cast that he would hire Pitino for his staff if he had an open­ing.

“Well, I mean, ev­ery­body’s got bag­gage,” he said. “You know, what are you go­ing to do? You know, he did his time. He’s serv­ing his sen­tence. He lost a great, great job. And you know what? So what. That’s a life sen­tence? I don’t know. I don’t think so.”

Pitino was fired Oct. 16, so Auriemma’s def­i­ni­tion of time served is pe­cu­liar. In any case, more has come out about Pitino’s al­leged role in the scheme since the U.S. Jus­tice Depart­ment’s ini­tial an­nounce­ment, which main­tained an AAU coach named Chris­tian Dawkins called Pitino to ask him for help in se­cur­ing a six-fig­ure pay­ment to the fam­ily of re­cruit Brian Bowen. A new in­dict­ment against for­mer Adi­das ex­ec­u­tive Jim Gatto, re­leased this week, al­leges Pitino not only was aware of the scheme but agreed to par­tic­i­pate in it.

“Dawkins ex­plained that while [Pitino] and the Uni­ver­sity of Louisville were re­cruit­ing [Bowen], Dawkins asked [Pitino] to call James Gatto to re­quest that [Adi­das] pro­vide the money re­quested by the fam­ily of [Bowen], which [Pitino] agreed to do,” the in­dict­ment reads.

Pitino’s at­tor­ney told ESPN that his client de­nied hav­ing any knowl­edge of the scheme.

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