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Louisville Job Remains No. 1 on Pitino's List

March 15, 2001|Times Wire Services

Rick Pitino toured the Louisville campus Wednesday, but the former Kentucky and Boston Celtic coach didn't say when he would decide on his coaching future.

Louisville Athletic Director Tom Jurich, who met with Pitino in Miami last weekend, has said Pitino is the only candidate for the job, created when Denny Crum resigned.

Pitino denied that he is biding his time to see what other jobs open. Michigan Athletic Director Bill Martin said he wanted to talk to Pitino after firing Brian Ellerbe on Tuesday.

"I'm really not thinking about any other jobs," Pitino said. "I have to take my time and make sure I'm making the right move, but it isn't because of other job openings, that's not the case at all."

Jurich led Pitino on a walking tour of campus after Pitino met for 30 minutes with Crum, who retired at season's end after coaching the Cardinal for 30 years. Crum said the two discussed Louisville's current players and incoming recruits.

Pitino met later with Louisville President John Shumaker and had a private lunch with several wealthy school supporters.

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A divided campus awaits Bob Knight's visit to Lubbock, Texas, today. At least 30 Texas Tech faculty members added their names to a petition against hiring the former Indiana coach with the infamous temper and knack for winning.

Knight will tour the campus and meet with administrators about possibly succeeding James Dickey, who was fired last week after Tech's fourth losing season in a row.

Not everyone is excited.

Associate professor of philosophy Walter Schaller circulated an e-mail petition that opposes Knight, and at least 58 faculty members put their names on it.

In the e-mail, Schaller argues that Knight's ability to build a clean and winning program should not outweigh his repeated misconduct. Schaller forwarded the petition to Texas Tech President David Schmidly with the names of 50 faculty members opposing Knight. Others continued to sign the petition later.

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Iowa Coach Steve Alford became agitated when asked about the possibility of coaching at his alma mater, Indiana, which has yet to decide the fate of interim Coach Mike Davis.

"I went through this in the fall," Alford said, his voice rising. "I'm not interested in entertaining any questions about Indiana University."

Alford's team will be without leading scorer Luke Recker today against Creighton. Recker did not receive medical clearance to play after suffering a chip-fracture of his right kneecap in a Jan. 27 game against Indiana.

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Morgan State fired Coach Chris Fuller, a week after the Bears completed a 6-23 season.

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