When Louisville coach Rick Pitino first reacted to news that Pitt and Syracuse were leaving the Big East for the ACC, he blogged that it was "the smart play." Now that UConn is showing interest in joining those two schools in the ACC, Pitino is an interview with SNY.tv called that "dumbest thing" he's ever heard of.
"With that being said, how can you want to leave? Why would you want to leave? My biggest mistake I made in my life is when I left Camelot [Kentucky]" to lead the Boston Celtics in 1997. "They're leaving Camelot. It's the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of."
He added: "It was a smart move for [Pittsburgh and Syracuse], in their minds. Syracuse and Pittsburgh's Presidents want something different. They're not taking into consideration all the alumni that Syracuse has in the area. Pitt can go if they want, but it makes no sense with Connecticut because of the unbelievable success that Connecticut has had.
"To me, with Connecticut, I think it's just a ridiculous move."
Pitino has been outspoken during the latest round of realignment as the Big East tries to hold itself together, and the point he makes is that UConn already has it good without having to look at the ACC. The Huskies' football team has shown it can be successful by going to the Fiesta Bowl and winning the NCAA tournament last season.
Why mess with that and join a conference where it could very well be less successful, especially in football? To Pitino, the grass in not necessarily greener for UConn in the ACC.
"Did you ever think that it ever crossed the mind of John Wooden to go into the Atlantic Coast Conference because they were bigger than the Pac-10 when he was winning 11 championships?" Pitino asked SNY.tv. "Do you ever think it crossed his mind? No, when you're great winner, those things don't cross your mind."