I was the publicist on Rick Pitino's book Rebound Rules: The Art of Success 2.0 last year, and I've been thinking about him as I've watched this horrific tabloid story unfold around him.
We spent the better part of two days together last fall as Coach Pitino did media interviews in New York City: CBS College Sports Network, Bloomberg TV and radio, "Costas on the Radio," and so on. He struck me as a decent guy, friendly, very high energy. Always a million things going on. Bought me a beer while we were waiting to do a Fox Business taping one evening and told me a hilarious story about the time he accidentally bought a race horse at an auction.
Having spent a little time together, I have some sympathy for him. But the details of the incident as reported in the press are pretty stark: He had sex with a woman he had just met on a table in a restaurant after hours (at least it wasn't during the 8:00 o'clock seating), while an assistant coach was within earshot; then paid the woman $3,000 so she could have an abortion. A bit of a contrast from the image he's built for himself as the upright family man Coach Pitino. There's just no way to make that stuff palatable
Rebound Rules is about comebacks, about recovering from setbacks and adversity. As the promo copy says, it tells you "how to succeed after you've failed; how to pick yourself up after being knocked down; and how to reframe yourself and see the world in a new light." I imagine the Coach has been dipping into it--taking a little refresher course, as it were--while he passes through this latest trial. I'd advise him to look on the bright side: At least he's gathering plenty of new material for a couple of extra chapters when the book comes out in paperback.