INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Louisville coach Rick Pitino thinks college basketball coaches must do a better job policing their own programs instead of relying on the NCAA to sort everything out.
On Thursday, at the Midwest Regional in Indianapolis, Pitino called on his coaching colleagues to make a stronger effort to keep the sport clean.
"The NCAA is sort of like the IRS or the border patrol. They're undermanned, but they do a good job of stopping the problems," he said. "They come in when there's a problem, and they do a great job of investigating the problem. But there's too many outside influences that infiltrate our game that we, as coaches, have to stop."
Pitino's comments come one day after a report implicated Connecticut for recruiting violations.
But he specifically said the comments were not directed at the reported infractions and were simply a general statement about college basketball.
It's not the first time a coach has made that statement. The National Association of Basketball Coaches has repeatedly called on coaches to do more to prevent infractions that sometimes come from outside the athletic department.
And that's where Pitino believes the real danger is.
"There's too many runners, too many people that are working for agents that we don't know about," he said. "You can't describe them. You don't know who they are. They are faceless people. We have to do a much better job policing ourselves to make sure nobody infiltrates one's program."
Because coaches are around the players almost every day, Pitino believes that responsibility falls to those leading the program.
The NCAA tends to get involved after the allegations become public because there are a limited number of investigators on staff. Reporting infractions is the responsibility of the schools, there has been discussion at the NCAA about reinstating harsher penalties such as postseason and television bans, which have not been used recently.
Pitino expects coaches to do a more thorough job of following the rules — for the good of the school.
"It means too much to us personally, professionally for the university, for the towns to let this happen," Pitino said.
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