The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino: A Story of Corruption, Scandal, and the Big Business of College Basketball

The Last Temptation of Rick Pitino: A Story of Corruption, Scandal, and the Big Business of College Basketball

by Michael Sokolove

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Overview

From acclaimed New York Times Magazine author Michael Sokolove, the full inside story of the NCAA's epic corruption scandal that exposed the rot and hypocrisy at the heart of big-time college sports.

In 2017, the FBI revealed that it had reached the endgame of a sprawling investigation of large-scale corruption involving Adidas, Louisville and a host of other colleges, in which large payments were laundered from Adidas through a network of coaches and fixers to athletes and their families to induce them to go to Adidas-branded college programs. In short order, Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino (salary: $8 million) and athletic director Tom Jurich were fired, and fear, trembling, and some high-profile litigation swept through the world of bigtime college athletics.

In THE LAST TEMPTATION OF RICK PITINO, Michael Sokolove not only lifts the rug on the Louisville scandal but also places it in the context of the much wider problem, the farce of amateurism in bigtime college sports. In a world in which even assistant coaches can make high-six and seven-figure salaries, as long as they keep the "elite" athletes coming in, shoe deals can reach into the nine figures, and everyone is getting rich but the players, can it be surprising that unscrupulous parties would pay athletes, creating in effect a black market in young men, a veritable underground railroad of talent?

But a few bad apples are one thing. In THE LAST TEMPTATION OF RICK PITINO, Michael Sokolove shows an elaborate, systematic machine, involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in illicit payments and connecting at least one of the largest apparel companies in the world with schools across the country. The Louisville-Adidas scandal has revealed a web of conspiracy whose scope has shaken big-time college sports to its core, delivering a devastating blow to the fantasy of amateurism, of "scholar athletes." A Shakespearean drama of greed and desperation involving some of the biggest characters in the arena of sports, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF RICK PITINO is the definitive chronicle of this scandal and its broader echoes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399563294
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 731,789
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Michael Sokolove is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, as well as the author of four previous books, Drama HighThe Ticket OutHustle, and Warrior Girls.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 Family 9

Chapter 2 Footprints 27

Chapter 3 Waiting for Brian Bowen 45

Chapter 4 The 'ville 57

Chapter 5 Absolutions 77

Chapter 6 Fishing In Polluted Waters 97

Chapter 7 The Saginaw Connection 121

Chapter 8 The Playbook 147

Chapter 9 When We Sin Against Our Nature 161

Chapter 10 "I Feel It Was an Assassination" 187

Chapter 11 The Chardonnay Crowd 199

Chapter 12 The Spoils of Uncompensated Labor 225

Acknowledgments 247

Index 251

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