Why do some Hawaii fans dislike Rick Pitino?

It’s been nearly 40 years since Rick Pitino was an assistant basketball coach at the University of Hawaii. But some UH fans still have a bad feeling about Pitino, who was recently inducted into the basketball Hall of Fame and leads Louisville into the Final Four today.

When the NCAA put UH on probation for two years in 1977, Pitino was implicated in eight of the 64 violations cited.

When I met him at the 2001 NCAA Tournament, Pitino was cordial and made a gracious, if innocuous comment about his time in Hawaii. Others have noted that he rarely mentions or acknowledges that he started his career in Hawaii.

Hawaii has another connection to Louisville; point guard Peyton Siva is of Samoan ethnicity and has family here.


  1. HaoleBob April 6, 2013 12:01 pm

    I remember those days well, primarily because of two reasons. First because two of the Basketball players lived in the apartment above me in a two bedroom apartment on the Pali highway ( rent was far too high for college students ). And second because that basketball team was probably the best ever recruited to UH. I also remember that most of the players caught , somehow ended up immediately at schools in the squeaky clean east coast schools such as St. John’s. As we all can see sports haven’t changed that much at all.

  2. hossana April 6, 2013 4:00 pm

    I don’t see any reason why Hawaii fans should dislike Pitino. Pitino showed his emerging greatness when he took over as coach and installed the 4 corner offense which was popular with North Carolina and other schools in the ACC but the team looked sharper and more definitive in its new motion offense, also. Kudos to him for learning the ropes of coaching at Providence etc…I can see where it was a blemish for him to have been involved or be attached to that NCAA infractions at that time and he wants it blanked from his past….don’t blame him one bit…….

  3. rob April 6, 2013 4:41 pm

    he sucked at Boston

  4. Old School Dave April 7, 2013 4:50 am

    I remember seeing a number of UH basketball players during that time driving brand new Ford autos on campus. Ah, the good ole days of UH basketball.

  5. jeezy33 April 8, 2013 12:45 pm

    3. Lol you can’t be serious. It takes talent to win in the NBA. Coach can’t pull out miracles without it.

  6. che April 11, 2013 5:27 am

    I think that was the time that UH had Reggie Carter, George Lett and Heny Hollingsworth as freshmen or sophomores. I think of what might have been had they stayed one or two more years. No hard feelings about Pitino. Who was UH’s head coach back then?

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