Pitino returning to Louisville to help son’s family

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Rick Pitino has evidently changed his mind about returning to Louisville. He once vowed not to come back until John Schnatter, whom he refers to as "the pizza guy," and Grissom were off the U of L board of trustees.

Schnatter is no longer on the board and Pitino is apparently now willing to overlook Grissom's continued presence.

Speaking to longtime friend Leslie Vissar on the CBS Sports Network's "We Need to Talk" show, Pitino discussed his future for the first time since returning to the states from Greece, where he coached Panathinaikos to a Greek League championship.

Pitino said the health of one of his grandsons prompted his change of heart.

"I have a grandson that has a form of epilepsy," Pitino said. "There's only 300 people in the world that has this. He's one year old, and I wanted to spend the next six months to help my son and daughter-in-law just turn over every stone to find a great geneticist to find out answers. ... I'm just trying to use all my connections that I've made in my 40-plus years in coaching to find some way."

As far as his feelings about U of L and the University of Kentucky, the Hall of Fame coach had this to say:

"I love the University of Louisville. I love the University of Kentucky. I love the people of Kentucky. I'm not going to let 5-7, 10 people spoil my feelings for a place I spent 17 years. The one thing you learn when you're 66 is put it behind you and get over yourself."

Asked about the stripper and FBI scandals, Pitino again proclaimed his innocence.

"How the hell was I supposed to know about this?" Pitino said. "Am I the leader? Yes. Do I have to take responsibility for anything that goes on? Yes."

The rest of the interview will be telecast on Aug. 23 at 9:30 p.m.


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