Cardinals head coach spoke candidly with Sports Illustrated about post-season ban and more

Cardinals head coach spoke candidly with Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis about post-season ban, his future and more.

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino hasn't held back on his opinion of the school's self-imposed one year postseason ban, calling it frequently, the "harshest" penalty he's ever witnessed.

The immediate ban not only crushes the goals of a team that currently sits atop the ACC standings and saw its stock rising for a high postseason bid, it also will bring an abrupt halt to graduate transfer seniors Damion Lee and Trey Lewis, both of who came to Louisville with the dream of making a deep NCAA run in their final year of eligibility.

For the Cardinals Hall of Fame head coach, the surfacing of the mis-doings in the basketball dorm and the now in place ban, has created a difficult and emotional few months, peaking earlier this week with the school's decision.

Pitino, who has yet to visit with the school's committee and remains unaware of the evidence that compelled Tom Jurich, the school's athletic director, to institute a one-year ban effectively immediately, spoke with Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis about the ban, the circumstances surrounding it and his future as the Cardinals head coach.

"I’m more passionate today than I’ve ever been," he said. "I think I enjoy teaching as much as I’ve ever enjoyed it. If there was a time where if I believe in my heart that Louisville is better off without me, I would leave yesterday."

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No. 19 Louisville faces Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, N.C., this evening for an ESPN Big Monday contest. Tip is scheduled for 7:02 p.m.

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