Richard Pitino, the son of Louisville’s Rick Pitino, is the head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. A recent university audit revealed that Pitino drastically overspent his yearly $50,000 personal travel budget. Let’s take a look at Pitino’s spending on private jets and such compared to the Gophers’ on-court success. Numbers via the Star-Tribune:
2013 Travel Expenses: $75,000
’13 – ’14’ Record: 25-13, NIT Champions
2014 Travel Expenses: $100,000
’14 – ’15 Record: 18-15
2015 Travel Expenses: $150,000
’15 – ’16 Record: 8-23
The only answer is obviously MORE PRIVATE JETS! All of this happened under the watchful eye of former Athletic Director Norwood Teague. The women’s team was also found to overspend.
In addition to the private jet spending, both basketball programs spent more than allowed on hotels, private cars, birthday or holiday parties, meals and valet parking. The audit even flagged “unreasonable” spending by Pitino involving “multiple” rental cars returned without full gas tanks and instances of parking at the airport even though the team had rented a bus.
As a result, the office’s report is recommending the U Athletics Department seek reimbursement for the itemized overspending from Pitino and women’s coach Marlene Stollings. Pitino and Stollings both signed the office’s audit in mid-April.
Stollings has at least shown the decency to put together two 20-win seasons. Minnesota is still searching for an A.D. to replace Teague. Expect the hiring committee to focus on candidates’ budgeting skills.