ESPN Radio’s Chris Carlin blasts St. John’s for Rick Pitino hire: ‘Where Rick Pitino operates, he lives in the grey’

Chris Carlin is having none of it, the ESPN Radio host lighting into St. John’s for the hire of Rick Pitino as the head coach of men’s basketball.

Pitino, who successfully guided Iona to the NCAA Tournament in two of his three years with the Gaels, is a massive hire for St. John’s. He won two nationals championships, though his last one at Louisville in 2014 was vacated.

And he knows the Big East quite well, having one the conference three times with Louisville.

But Pitino, despite credentials that make him one of the best head coaches in college basketball history, comes with baggage. And Carlin would have none of it, blasting away at St. John’s decision to hire Pitino.

Carlin, the voice of Rutgers football, didn’t hold back in his thoughts on the hiring of Pitino.

“This is the only college basketball coach ever that has had to vacate a national championship and wiped four years’ worth of wins because of a scandal around his team. And he’ll be the first to tell you “Oh I was cleared of that earlier this year’,” Carlin said on ESPN Radio.

“Yet Rick Pitino continues to get opportunity after opportunity after embarrassing virtually every place he’s ever been to and having no regard for anyone else in any of this.”

From allegations of a “pay to play” scandal to an extortion attempt, Pitino certainly does have some tarnish to his accolades.


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St. John’s is banking on Pitino’s accumen and ability to recruit to help get the Red Storm back to relevance.

Under former head coach Mike Anderson, St. John’s had four winning seasons but was just 30-46 in the Big East. They didn’t make the NCAA Tournament during that stretch.


“Where Rick Pitino operates, he lives in the grey. He lives in the area of ‘I don’t have any direct knowledge of it.’ That is called plausible deniability,” Carlin said.

“And now we go to St. John’s who think it is 1985 and somehow think they can turn back the clock. And he says ‘I deserve it’.”


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Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire