"We were 18-1 before we ever heard from the NCAA and then Marvin goes in with a 5 to 6 hour meeting with them, goes to Saint Louis, gets no points and we lose and from that point it's been one thing after another," said Pitino. "From the Ellis Myles injury to now Francisco to Marvin's situation not stopping. We had another long meeting today, so it's very difficult."
The distraction has caused difficulties not for only Marvin, but for the entire team, both in games and preparing for games.
"The practices have been very difficult," continued Pitino. "I had to let them off yesterday. I think mentally they needed a day off. We physically didn't, but mentally we needed to give them a day off."
Pitino continued by calling the entire situation a nightmare.
"I've never had a dream go to a nightmare before," Pitino explained. "You have rollar-coaster rides in a given season, but I've never had a dream season turn into a nightmare. You're 18-1, things are going great, you're the talk of the country and suddenly you have a 5-hour meeting at the end of someone's career with the NCAA. It's been one thing after another, one distraction after another. Who are you going to play, who's going to be ready to play and injuries. It's an interesting thing. We're hoping to turn it back into a dream so the nightmare never happened."
The nightmare is being felt by the fans as well, as witnessed on InsidetheVille.com's messageboards and this evening on 84 WHAS Sports Talk program with Tony Cruise.
Tony Cruise spoke with Marvin Stone's attorney Donald Jackson this evening who told Cruise that the Western Union transfer in question was sent to a different Marvin Stone.
According to Jackson, a $400 money transfer was sent to a Marvin Stone in Atlanta on November 15, 2002. The Marvin Stone that plays for Louisville was on campus, attending class and practice on that day.
Also in question are additional Western Union money transfers that Louisville's Marvin Stone did receive from his mother, sister, as well as a $20 transfer he received from a U of L student.
Pitino continued to say that university presidents, athletic directors and coaches need to discuss the AAU situation or numerous players will be made ineligible.
"The one thing I have learned from all of this, I still believe, I don't believe the NCAA has something against the University of Louisville." said Pitino. "But I do feel that if the presidents, the AD's, the coaches and whoever makes these decisions do not get together on the amateurism issue, then this is just a tempest in the teapot. I believe that you'll have 80% of the guys that have played AAU basketball will not play. If somebody decides to turn somebody in over certain things with AAU basketball, I don't think anybody will play. If the amatuer rules do not change or the rules do not change and I think without question that they have to change, or all the coaches are going to go through what we are going through right now."
Pitino said that he will prepare the team to play with or without the senior center. "Well, the fact that there was another 4-5 hour meeting today, I have to coach and practice both ways."
Stay tuned to InsidetheVille.com for updates on this situation.