Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Basketball ignored Rick Pitino’s plea for a delayed season, and now his team is paying the price

Rick Pitino was absolutely right, but that’s little consolation for his Iona squad as COVID shuts it down for the remainder of the regular season.
Rick Pitino was absolutely right, but that’s little consolation for his Iona squad as COVID shuts it down for the remainder of the regular season.
Photo: AP

Nothing is more infuriating than being ignored, only to be proven right.

Back in November, the Iona head coach felt that, due to COVID-19, the season needed to start later. His pleas feel on deaf ears. By January, Pitino had tested positive for the virus. On Monday, the school announced that the COVID-19 is the reason why the team won’t finish out their regular season schedule.

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The Gaels have only played 13 games this year, finishing 8-5. Upcoming games against Marist, Siena (twice), and Saint Peter’s (twice) won’t be played. The MAAC Tournament starts on March 8, and Pitino’s team is hoping to be healthy enough to compete in it.

Earlier this season, Iona had a 51-day layoff due to COVID-19. Their last game in 2020 was against Coppin State on Dec. 23 and they didn’t play again until their Feb. 12 matchup with Manhattan.

“I’m a little bit of a political animal — I follow the science of it all, and that’s why I tried to move it back to May Madness for the health of everybody involved,” Pitino said last month, now that at least half his team has tested positive. “I thought the vaccine would come out maybe a week or two later than it’s actually come out, so that’s good news. It’s frustrating, but I knew it would be.”

For once Pitino was right, and the powers that be ignored him when they should have been listening.

Saginaw Native. Morehouse Man. Syracuse (Newhouse) Alum. 2019 & 2020 NABJ Award Winner. 2016 PABJ Journalist of the Year. I only eat my wings lemon-peppered. And I like brown liquor & brown women.

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