It's been nearly 40 years since Rick Pitino was an assistant basketball coach at the University of Hawaii. But some UH fans still have a bad feeling about Pitino, who was recently inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame and leads Louisville into the Final Four today.
When the NCAA put UH on probation for two years in 1977, Pitino was implicated in eight of the 64 violations cited.
When I met him at the 2001 NCAA Tournament, Pitino was cordial and made a gracious, if innocuous comment about his time in Hawaii. Others have noted that he rarely mentions or acknowledges that he started his career in Hawaii.
Hawaii has another connection to Louisville; point guard Peyton Siva is of Samoan ethnicity and has family here.