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Rick Pitino concerned for NCAA, St. John’s in NIL era

Rick Pitino sounded the alarm about the future of college basketball, especially St. John’s University, after Saturday’s loss to No. 1 University of Connecticut, building the college basketball world in an era of name, image, visibility and the transfer portal. raised concerns about how difficult it would be to do so. program.

While talking about the Johnny’s situation after suffering their fifth loss in six games, he spoke abruptly about the future.

“It’s our first year. Every first year, we’ve never had a great team. But I’ll tell you, I’m concerned about that,” he said at 77-64. Pitino said after the setback. “It’s very hard to build. So many football coaches have resigned, so many basketball coaches have resigned. It’s hard to build a program.

“We need to really innovate now, get creative and figure out these rules, or lack thereof.”

Pitino, who took over from Mike Anderson last March, rebuilt the roster, keeping only Joel Soriano and Drissa Traore. He brought in five fifth-year players who needed to be replaced this offseason.

“College basketball is at a very difficult time with free agency, but I wonder what’s going to happen next. [the NCAA is] I’m going to say anyone can transfer,” Pitino said. “If they don’t like it, they’re going to be taken to court. I think the NCAA enforcement staff should be disbanded, not because I don’t like them, but they have no value at all.


St. John’s University coach Rick Pitino talked about how difficult it is to build a college basketball program. Robert Szabo of the New York Post

“Enforcement officials need to go away. We have to stop all the NIL hypocrisy. They can’t stop it, so it has to stop. Whether I’m for it or against it. doesn’t matter.

“For us, we can’t really build a program or a culture because we’re all leaving. We did it with five fifth-graders. They’re all going to leave, so we’re going to replace them with new free agents. It needs to be replaced with.”


Saturday’s game was a sellout and St. John’s first game since defeating Villanova on February 17, 2019.


Connecticut was without standout forward Alex Karaban (ankle).


St. John’s 3-point shooting continues to be impressive.

He missed four of 14 attempts Saturday and has shot 27.7 percent from long range in his past six games.

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