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Rick Pitino had his name cleared of the FBI’s investigation into corruption in college basketball prior to the start of this year’s college hoops season. With that dark grey cloud gone, programs around the country may try to lure the legendary head coach away from his current post at Iona this offseason.
Pitino isn’t shying away from that possibility and the coaching rumors involving his name that have already started.
The 70-year-old isn’t interested in leaving Iona for just any name-brand program, however.
“If I wanted to leave, it would be a job that I thought could get to a Final Four,” Pitino told CBS. It would be a great place where I want to live, but I don’t see it happening. I don’t see it happening. I’m really tied into these kids [at Iona]. And they came because of me.”
On top of the program needing to be Final Four caliber, Pitino said there are “20 or 30 states where I don’t want to live” as well.
Pitino isn’t just talking the talk, either. He shared that not one, but three big-time job offers came his way last year, but he turned them down.
“I was offered three really good jobs last year,” Pitino explained. “But I told the one job, it was a big-time job, I said, ‘Look, I’ve got a $5 million buyout. I had $10 million prior to that. I’m not worth that.'”
The “one job” Pitino is referring to is rumored to be Maryland, who ultimately hired Kevin Willard from Seton Hall.
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Just like every offseason, many head coaching positions will be made available in college basketball this year. Georgetown and St. Johns are both expected to be searching for new head coaches in just a couple of weeks. All signs point to Ole Miss and head coach Kermit Davis parting ways in the coming weeks as well.
None of those three programs, however, are near Final Four caliber level at the moment.