Rick Pitino sticks to his vow, says he won't attend Kentucky Oaks

Updated: March 31, 2018, 9:30 PM ET
ESPN News Services

Still upset over his firing by Louisville, former coach Rick Pitino says he won't attend this year's Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs, even though his filly is set to run in the race.

Pitino, who was fired by Louisville in October after an FBI investigation into corruption and bribery in college basketball recruiting, is part of the ownership for Coach Rocks, which won Saturday's Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in Florida and will be heading to the Kentucky Oaks on May 4, the day before the Kentucky Derby.

Pitino has vowed not to return to the state of Kentucky.

"I'm not going to go to Kentucky for the Oaks, but my partners are," Pitino said Saturday in the winner's circle at Gulfstream Park. "But I feel absolutely awesome."

Earlier this month, Pitino told ESPN's Jeff Goodman that he wants to coach again, whether in college or the NBA.

"The level doesn't matter to me," Pitino said then. "I just need it to be someone who believes in me."

Pitino confirmed that he hired agent Jordan Bazant and said he doesn't want to leave the game bitter. He said he had yet to receive any interest from college programs, but he told ESPN he had an informal discussion with a representative from one NBA team about a potential opening.

"Every night I go to bed, I'm bitter at the U.S. attorney's office and at the 'board of traitors' at Louisville," Pitino said. "I'm not bitter at the school but at the 'board of traitors.'"

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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